Jimmy Butler has fit in perfectly with the Heat’s culture, Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. The Bulls and Timberwolves traded Butler away and the 76ers didn’t make him a priority in free agency. However, Miami has been a better spot for the sometimes abrasive swingman, since the front office and coaching staff welcomes a measure of friction, believing it can be a positive in the long run. It leads to more focus, camaraderie and trust, Windhorst adds.
We have more from around the Eastern Conference:
- The Sixers‘ flameout in the first round of the playoffs could benefit the Hawks. Philadelphia could be willing to deal one or more of its starters, according to The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner, who joins forces with Peachtree Hoops’ Andrew Kelly to explore how various Sixers – along with some other potential trade targets from around the league – could fit in with Atlanta’s current mix.
- The Pistons have finalized a contract with former Lakers executive Ryan West, Jerry West‘s son, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The news that Detroit was hiring West broke three weeks ago. He will concentrate on player evaluation with Detroit. West and the Lakers mutually agreed to part ways last summer after both sides felt he had reached a ceiling in his 10 years with their franchise.
- The Cavaliers are likely to use their mid-level exception to upgrade the team, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. If there’s a player worth signing, the Cavs are eager to upgrade the roster before next season and push for a playoff spot, Fedor adds. Fedor also explores the Cavaliers’ draft strategy in his mailbag column.