One NBA executive thinks the Miami Heat better know what they’re doing when it comes to handling newly acquired star Jimmy Butler.
According to a report from RealGM’s Keith P. Smith, the rival executive thinks Butler could possibly hurt the Heat more than help them.
“You add Jimmy, you better be sure,” said the executive. “I bet Spo (Erik Spoelstra) and Pat [Riley] are sure. And they are probably right. But that dude can ruin your whole deal if he’s not happy. And when has he ever been happy?”
Butler would never be mistaken for an easy-going star in the NBA. During his previous stops with the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Philadelphia 76ers, the 6-foot-8 forward has proven to be quite mercurial.
That was probably never more apparent than when he was with Minnesota last season. Butler requested a trade late in the offseason, and the Wolves had to ship him off to Philadelphia for a bargain deal just to keep the team from imploding.
Despite the behavioral issues, there’s no questioning Butler’s talent. Over his last five seasons, he has averaged 21.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Even with a talented cast in Philadelphia last season, Butler was expected to take and make the crucial baskets, and he delivered on numerous occasions.
The change in scenery could be a good thing for the four-time All-Star, as he is now considered the face of a franchise in Miami. It’s now up to Spoelstra and Riley to ensure that Butler remains happy and helps lead the team to great success in the coming seasons.