Butler will finally make his debut for the team after missing the first three games due to the birth of his daughter.
“We’re excited, for sure,” forward Justise Winslow said. “He had the baby and was taking care of all that. I guess there’s some upside. We got to grow. But truthfully, I’m so excited to play with him.
“We haven’t really played with him a real game. So that’s going to be a learning curve, as well, figuring out each other’s tendencies and stuff.”
During his absence, Winslow has stepped up for the Heat as the primary ball-handler and leader, as he is averaging 19 points, 9.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game this season.
Also stepping up in Butler’s absence are rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn. Butler is expected to take one of their spots in the starting lineup moving forward.
“He’s our guy,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’ll be playing. I’m not planning on resting him.”
Spoelstra added that Butler fits in with the type of players the Heat generally look for to add to the legacy of Heat greats like Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning and Udonis Haslem.
“We like these competitive, edgy kind of guys,” Spoelstra said. “For better or worse, that’s us. We are who we are, we like who we like, and Jimmy fits into our model.”
“All of them are cut from the same cloth — super competitive. On the very edge of competitiveness and boiling over. That’s our language. So when you have your best player believing in the same things that you believe in, that’s a pretty good place to start.”
Butler will begin his ninth season and first with the Heat on Tuesday. He averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game last season for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers.