On Wednesday morning, Butler himself reportedly told the Minnesota Timberwolves that his preferred trade destination is Miami. Shortly after, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald revealed that the interest is most definitely mutual:
“An executive with another Eastern Conference team said he believes Miami is the leading contender for Butler but that wasn’t based on anything the Wolves have told him.
“Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra are big fans of Butler and the Heat believes it would have a good chance to re-sign Butler next summer, and Wednesday’s report by The Times’ Marc Stein would reinforce that belief.”
There is little mystery why Spoelstra and Riley would want to bring Butler to Miami. If Butler were to join the Heat, he would arguably be the best two-way player the Heat have had on their roster since LeBron James left as a free agent back in 2014. Last season, Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. He is also widely considered to be one of the best defensive stars the NBA has to offer.
It remains to be seen what kind of package the Heat would put together in order to acquire Butler, but it stands to reason that they would have to part ways with a combination of rotational players, potential stars, and future assets.
With the Heat already well over the projected $109 million salary cap for the 2019-20 season, they would have to find a way to make the money work in terms of cap space. Luckily, Jackson mentioned that several teams are willing to help facilitate that aspect of any potential deal:
These are exciting times indeed for Heat fans everywhere and it’s beginning to seem as though bringing Butler to Miami is quite possible. Now all fans have to do is wait and see if the signs pointing to Butler ending up in Miami are pointing in the right direction.