Jimmy Butler Contract: Latest Extension Will Make It Hard to Retain Key Teammates
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are back in the Eastern Conference Finals, even though no one thought they’d be there. The team barely got into the playoffs via the play-in tournament and then dispatched the 1-seed Milwaukee Bucks and 5-seed New York Knicks. Now they’re vying for their second NBA Finals appearance in the last four seasons, and Butler is the driving force of the team. Here’s what you need to know about the Jimmy Butler contract and what the future of the Heat roster looks like.
The Jimmy Butler contract
The fascinating thing about Jimmy Butler’s career is that if the Chicago Bulls just gave him the max contract he wanted back in 2017, his NBA path would have been quite different.
As it stands, though, the Bulls traded the unhappy star to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he became unhappier playing with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. Butler then forced a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he was equally discontented playing with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Butler finally made his way to the Heat, and the forward has thrived in the “Heat culture.”
Since he’s been in Miami, Butler has taken his team to three Eastern Conference Finals and won one to go to the NBA Finals.
Whether the Heat beat Boston or not and head back to the Finals, Butler will be with the team for the foreseeable future. In 2021, the Heat star signed a three-year $146,396,031 Jimmy Butler contract extension. Next season, Butler will earn a base salary of $45,183,960 and $48,798,677 in 2024-25.
There is also a player option for 2025-26 for $52,413,394.
This means the Jimmy Butler contract gives the star at least two more cracks at the title after this season and maybe more. However, the question will soon become, who will be there with him?
What’s next for the Heat?
While Jimmy Butler has been the main catalyst for the Heat’s success these last few years, the teammates around him are just as important.
Butler is a unique person and has clashed with teammates in the past who are not as dedicated and intense as he is. Now knowing what we know, it does seem like Butler was right about Towns and Russell and Simmons and maybe even Embiid.
That said, putting the right players around Butler is crucial, and this offseason, Heat president Pat Riley will have some work to do.
Along with the Jimmy Butler contract, the Heat also have Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Caleb Martin locked up for at least next year, with Adebayo, Herro, and Robinson all in for two-plus seasons.
That leaves the Heat’s key free agents as Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, who both made less than $2 million this season but earned a lot more with their play. Kevin Love is also an unrestricted free agent.
Miami does hold the Bird rights for Vincent and Strus, so they can go over the cap to sign them. However, the team is already $11.1 million over the projected luxury tax threshold, so signing these two will practically cost a lot more than just their salary cap number.
Still, as well as this team has done in the postseason, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Riley tried to keep the squad as intact as possible for the next few years of the Jimmy Butler contract.