Jimmy Butler "A Perfect Fit" For Miami

Butler, who will play for his fourth team since 2017, may have found a home with the Heat

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
July 01, 2019 - 10:15 am
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Jimmy Butler will reportedly play for his fourth NBA team since 2017, as the Miami Heat are closing in on a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers for his services.

How will Butler fare in Miami?

“Culturally, I think he’s a perfect fit,” Bleacher Report NBA reporter Sean Highkin said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence “Everything that you’ve ever read about the way that Pat Riley likes to do things, the way that Erik Spoelstra likes to do things – just the culture that they have where it’s all about hard work and accountability – that’s the kind of thing that I think Jimmy Butler (likes). When he was in Minnesota, part of why he didn’t like Andrew Wiggins or Karl-Anthony Towns is because he felt they didn’t work as hard as he did. So I think going to a place where he’s basically answering to Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, I think that’s a good situation for him.”

Butler was drawn to Miami, in part, because of its love and respect for Dwyane Wade. Butler and Wade were teammates in Chicago in 2016-17 and were the team’s leading scorers.

“Those two were extremely close,” Highkin said. “Jimmy Butler looked up a lot to Dwyane Wade, and Dwyane Wade kind of took him under his wing. Those two still have a very close relationship to this day, so I’m not really surprised that Jimmy was drawn there for that reason.”

The Heat, however, aren’t exactly contenders. They have missed the playoffs in three of the last five seasons and finished 39-43 last year.

“I’m a little bit skeptical that they’re going to do much beyond maybe be like a 6- or a 7-seed in the East with the rest of the roster being the way it is,” Highkin said. “But I can certainly see culturally how he feels like it’s a good fit for him.”

Highkin also weighed in on Kevin Durant’s decision to leave Golden State for Brooklyn.

“If the Nets win a title in the next four years, nobody can ever accuse him of being a frontrunner or joining with a super team,” Highkin said. “Obviously Kyrie Irving is a great player and the Nets have kind of a nice team, but there’s a difference between signing up to join a nice up-and-coming team versus signing up to join a team that had already won 73 games. It’s a totally different perception if he were to win a title here. It would feel more like he did it on his own terms and didn’t take what a lot of people would consider a short-cut, whether that’s fair or not.”

Click below to listen to Highkin’s interview in its entirety.