The Miami Heat have an elite player in his prime for the first time in a half decade in Jimmy Butler.
While most experts believe that even with Butler, the Heat are not championship contenders, Butler apparently disagrees.
According to Nick Wright, who appeared on a recent episode of FS1’s “First Things First,” Butler thinks he can do what Kawhi Leonard did when he led the Toronto Raptors to an NBA title as the sole top-tier star on the roster.
"Jimmy Butler believes what Kawhi just did, he can do. And he wants to go do it in Miami. Jimmy Butler wanted his own team, he wanted the Miami weather, he enjoys his somewhat newfound celebrity lifestyle. This was about Jimmy Butler, not about the Sixers." — @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/qoF1EXfSDo
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) July 2, 2019
Butler’s assertion may seem a bit unrealistic, but when one looks a bit closer, the comparisons are not completely unfounded.
Much like last season’s Raptors roster, the Heat are filled with a mixture of promising young talent that seem to be on the cusp of a big jump. The Raptors of course had 2019 Most Improved Player Paskal Siakam.
The Heat have both Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo.
The Raptors had savvy vets like Kyle Lowry and Danny Green.
The Miami Heat, at least currently, have Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, and James Johnson.
Sure, it may seem like a stretch now, but nobody considered the Raptors to be true title contenders until they proved to have the consistency and depth necessary to take it the distance.
The Heat will have to prove a whole lot of doubters wrong if they want to enjoy similar success with Butler at the vanguard. It is certainly a very long shot, but it is not at all impossible.