However, Butler was awful in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, where the Heat got swept by the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite putting up superstar numbers in the regular season, the swingman was a shell of himself against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. and couldn’t throw a ball into an ocean.
That’s why the latest report coming out of Miami is a little surprising.
Jimmy Butler reportedly wants $181 million from the Heat
In the summer of 2019, Butler joined the Heat via a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. He signed a four-year, $140.8 million contract that includes a player option for the 2022-23 season.
Butler is eligible to sign an extension this summer, and he wants to get paid like one of the top players in the league. According to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, the five-time All-Star “will likely seek a maximum four-year extension worth $181 million” from the Heat.
If the Heat give Butler what he wants, they will be paying him $36 million next season, $40.5 million in 2022-23, $43.8 million in 2023-24, $47 million in 2024-25, and $50.3 million in 2025-26, per Bobby Marks of ESPN. The former Chicago Bulls star is 31 and has many miles on his body since he’s played heavy minutes in the NBA, so there is no guarantee he will still be an All-Star performer later in his career.
The Heat have to be careful this summer. Although Butler is their best player, his putrid play against the Bucks should raise some eyebrows in the front office.
Jimmy Butler shot terribly versus the Bucks
In the four-game sweep against the Bucks, Butler shot a woeful 29.7% from the field and 26.7% from beyond the arc. He averaged 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists and had a negative +/- in each contest.
Butler is extremely valuable to the Heat, who were 33-19 with the Texas native in the lineup during the regular season. He averaged 21.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 52 games, joining Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and LeBron James as the only players in the NBA to average at least 20 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
Without Victor Oladipo, who missed the Bucks series due to injury, the Heat lacked a third dynamic scorer next to Butler and Bam Adebayo. However, even if Oladipo played, Milwaukee would have won if Butler shot as poorly as he did. The 2014-15 Most Improved Player of the Year must improve his jump shot this summer and return as a better shooter in 2021-22.
Knowing Heat president Pat Riley, he was probably furious his team got swept after making the NBA Finals last season. The Godfather will likely be aggressive this summer in free agency and trades, and Butler plans to voice his opinion on things.
Jimmy Buckets will help with roster decisions
After the Heat lost Game 4 to the Bucks, Butler was asked by reporters if he will take an active role in roster decisions during the offseason. The 6-foot-7 forward said he has to be involved.
“I’ve got to be active,” Butler said. “Me myself, Bam, hell probably Tyler, some other guys, as well. They’re going to ask, and we have to be honest. But at the end of the day, that’s not our job either. Whoever we get the opportunity to play with, we’ve got to go out there and compete.”
Heat fans love Butler, but many of them don’t believe he’s worth $181 million. It will be interesting to see what Riley ends up doing this offseason after getting swept in the first round.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.