Goran Dragic Defends Jimmy Butler’s Prickly Personality: ‘I Like That He Challenges Guys’

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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.

The Heat are Butler’s fourth team in the past five seasons, with some criticism having been directed at him concerning interactions with former teammates while on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.