Alan Hahn: Jimmy Butler’s days in Miami are over

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Alan Hahn seems to be of the belief that Jimmy Butler will not be a member of the Miami Heat franchise by the time the 2024-25 season commences.

“Well, Jimmy Butler’s days in Miami are over,” Hahn said on the subject of bold offseason predictions. “You heard Pat Riley talk, and Pat Riley said something that put everybody’s attention about Jimmy Butler. And one other thing — it’s not just that. It’s also, Daryl Morey is laying in the weeds, and do you remember the mistake that the Sixers made? Daryl Morey might wanna fix that mistake, bring Jimmy Butler back to Philly and put together a band that should’ve been together years ago.”

Back in May, Riley criticized Butler’s decision to troll the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks despite the fact that the 34-year-old did not appear in a single game during the Heat’s first-round series against Boston, which Miami lost in five games.

But a report surfaced last month that should calm the nerves of Heat fans, as NBA executives reportedly think that Butler will remain with the Heat.

“A far murkier dynamic is that of Jimmy Butler, who’s extension eligible in Miami,” Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported. “The Sixers, of course, have been in the Butler business before. He and [Joel] Embiid maintained a close relationship, and Butler may have been the All-Star whom Morey most often attempted to acquire in Houston, sources said. At this juncture, however, league executives are of the mind Butler will most likely remain with the Heat.”

Butler has just one year remaining on his current contract with Miami, as he is set to earn nearly $49 million in the 2024-25 campaign but then has a player option for the 2025-26 season.

The former Marquette University star has spent the last five seasons of his NBA career as a member of the Heat and averaged 20.8 points per game on 49.9 percent shooting from the field and a career-high 41.4 percent from 3-point range along with 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game in the 2023-24 regular season.

There is an argument to be made that Butler was Miami’s best player from a statistical standpoint during the regular season, considering he led the Heat in points and assists per contest.

But as previously mentioned, Butler didn’t get the chance to try to lead the Heat to another improbable playoff run, as he suffered a sprained MCL in Miami’s loss to the 76ers back in April.

Sans Butler in the lineup, the Heat were thoroughly outplayed in the opening round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs by a juggernaut of a Celtics team. Miami’s lone win of the series came in Game 2, and all four of the Heat’s losses in the best-of-seven series came by 14 points or more.

However, considering the Heat are just one year removed from an NBA Finals appearance, Miami seemingly would be wise to hold onto Butler past this offseason.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.