Brian Windhorst says he wonders about Jimmy Butler’s long-term future with the Miami Heat

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The Miami Heat have hit a bit of a rough patch lately, having lost four of their last five games. They were able to snap a four-game losing streak on Monday, as they convincingly defeated the Sacramento Kings.

During the Heat’s game last week against the Golden State Warriors, Erik Spoelstra, Udonis Haslem and Jimmy Butler were all involved in a heated exchange.

That incident has led some to wonder whether or not the Heat should look to deal Butler at some point in the near future. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes the team might seek to move on from the star player.

“The Jimmy Butler-Erik Spoelstra thing, ya know, Jimmy Butler grinds on his teammates,” said Windhorst. “I mean, he brings a lot to the table. There’s been several organizations that have been like, ‘We are ready for him to be out of here.’ And there’s been organizations where he’s been ready to be out of there. There is not a long history of harmonious marriages there for Jimmy. So, when I’m seeing Spoelstra and I’m seeing Spoelstra saying to him, and I know it’s heat of the moment, ‘I always knew you were crazy.’ I think he’s speaking from his heart there, I think he does mean that. So I wonder, not only about this season, I wonder about Jimmy Butler long term in Miami, especially since he’s right on the edge there where his age and he’s been banged up a little bit, I just, I wonder about that.”

Prior to joining the Heat before the start of the 2019-20 regular season, Butler had been involved in multiple incidents that earned him a reputation of being a difficult person to work with.

However, he was able to lead Miami to the NBA Finals during his first season with the team. In the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Butler averaged 22.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from beyond the arc.

The six-time All-Star was unable to replicate those numbers during the postseason in 2021, as the Heat were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks.

It seems like Butler and the Heat have put that behind them. So far this season, Butler has averaged 21.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game while leading the Heat to a 48-28 record. Miami currently sits in first place in the Eastern Conference.

With the playoffs getting closer and closer, Butler and the Heat surely want to stay focused on their pursuit of an NBA title.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.