Jimmy Butler’s recent social media activity will only fuel rumors linking Damian Lillard and Miami Heat

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Rumors about the Miami Heat’s possible acquisition of superstar guard Damian Lillard will no doubt increase after one of Jimmy Butler’s posts on social media.

Jimmy Butler and Damian Lillard

Butler’s post isn’t the first time that he’s been eager to try to entice Lillard, an 11-year veteran who’s spent his entire NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers. Earlier this week, Butler was reported to be part of the recruiting effort to entice the veteran guard to join the Heat.

Earlier this month, Lillard himself indicated that he would be open to a deal to either the Heat or Brooklyn Nets. In the case of the Heat, Lillard pointed to his admiration of Bam Adebayo as a key reason for his interest.

One reason why rumors connected to any Lillard deal have picked up again is because of the Trail Blazers’ decision on Thursday night to draft guard Scoot Henderson. As the third overall pick of the draft, Henderson is expected to make an immediate impact, though it could spell the end of Lillard’s time in Portland.

Those 11 seasons with the Trail Blazers have seen Lillard develop into an outstanding backcourt performer who’s destined for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Over the course of his career, he’s averaged 25.2 points, 6.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game.

A key reason why a trade to the Heat would likely appeal to Lillard is because of the stark differences between them and his current team.

The Heat just competed in the Finals for the second time in four seasons and narrowly missed out on another trip last year. In that instance, their season ended in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

In contrast, the Trail Blazers are coming off a 33-49 season, the third-worst record in the Western Conference. The likelihood that any future playoff run will extend even past the first round seems very remote at this time.

Of course, acquiring a player of Lillard’s caliber requires giving up talent in return. A name that’s been prominently mentioned in this department is Tyler Herro, who is currently among the Heat’s top scorers.

How much impact Butler’s social media post has on Lillard is something that can’t be answered at the present moment. However, such efforts can’t hurt the chances of the Heat adding a future Hall of Famer to the team’s roster.

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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.