Despite having heard past rumors about the prickly personality of teammate Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat veteran guard Goran Dragic offered an enthusiastic endorsement of the way that Butler approaches the game.
Spoke to Goran Dragic at length about his relationship with Jimmy Butler. In middle, Butler called him an MF’r and gave him a hug & kiss.
Dragic: “You hear a lot of rumors in this league, like when he was in Minnesota. I don’t know. I like that he challenges guys. Guys need it.”
— Five Reasons Sports 🏀🏈⚾️🏒⚽️ (@5ReasonsSports) December 28, 2019
At the time of those rumors, Butler had been seeking a trade to another team.
The Timberwolves eventually dealt Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers in November 2018, where he helped them reach the semifinals in the Eastern Conference.
This past offseason, the Sixers dealt Butler to the Heat, who gave up guard Josh Richardson in the deal.
At one point in those trade negotiations, Dragic’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate to be moved. That obviously didn’t come to pass, and the veteran is enjoying the contributions that Butler has provided in the Heat’s strong 24-8 start to the 2019-20 season.
In 28 games this season, Butler is averaging 20.5 points, 6.6. rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He’s also blended seamlessly into the team’s aggressive culture and has served as a mentor for rookies like Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn.
Butler is in the first year of a four-year contract with the Heat, while Dragic’s tenure with the team could be ending either during or after this season.
Despite that uncertainty, it appears clear that Dragic has no concerns about having Butler as a teammate.