Jimmy Butler

Heat Notes: J. Butler, C. Butler, Quinn, Allen, Martin

The Sixers aren’t the only team that would be willing to give Jimmy Butler a maximum-salary extension if they could acquire him from the Heat. League sources tell Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald that two other clubs have “made it known in league circles” that they’d also be open to trading for the star forward and then signing him to a max deal.

Butler remains under contract with the Heat for 2024/25 and holds a $52.4MM player option for ’25/26. A maximum extension would cover two years, replacing the ’25/26 option with a new $54.3MM starting salary and tacking on an extra year worth $58.6MM for ’26/27.

Heat president Pat Riley was noncommittal when asked earlier this month if the team would offer that deal, pointing out that no decision has to be made yet and hinting that Butler’s history of injury issues would make the front office wary about such a significant investment.

“It’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources, unless you have someone who is going to be available every night,” Riley said at his end-of-season press conference.

The Heat have shown no interest in moving Butler and he has shown no signs that he wants out of Miami — in fact, he has spoken multiple times about wanting to finish his career with the franchise. However, as both Chiang and Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel write, these rumors and leaks – which seem designed to let Butler know he has options if the Heat aren’t willing to give him the kind of deal he wants – could put added pressure on the club to address the 34-year-old’s contract situation sooner rather than later.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Caron Butler, who has been an assistant coach on Erik Spoelstra‘s staff since 2020, has agreed to a new four-year deal to remain in that role, agent Raymond Brothers tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). As Chiang writes for The Miami Herald, Butler spoke last summer about having fallen in love with coaching and aspiring to become a head coach at some point down the road.
  • Miami is also working on new contracts for two other top assistants, Chris Quinn and Malik Allen, with Spoelstra having expressed a desire to keep his staff intact, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Quinn has been linked to several head coaching openings this spring, but wasn’t hired by Brooklyn or Charlotte and doesn’t appear to be a frontrunner in the Lakers’ or Wizards’ searches.
  • In another story for The Miami Herald, Chiang takes a closer look at Caleb Martin‘s free agency, exploring what kind of deal the swingman might be in line for and whether it’s viable for the club to retain him. Martin is expected to turn down his $7.1MM player option for 2024/25 and could receive a salary in the neighborhood of the full mid-level exception ($12.9MM+), Chiang writes. Accommodating that sort of raise would likely push the Heat’s team salary above the second tax apron unless they cut costs elsewhere.

Sixers Willing To Extend Butler If Heat Star Becomes Available In Trade

Jimmy Butler may not be the Sixers’ top target this offseason but they’re apparently willing to give him more financial security than the Heat.

Paul George is widely considered the Sixers’ primary focus if the Clippers forward declines his $48.8MM option in order to enter free agency. A reunion with Butler could be a viable alternative and Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the Sixers are prepared to give Butler a maximum-salary extension if he forces a trade out of Miami.

There has been speculation about Butler’s future since the Heat were eliminated from postseason contention. Butler, who will be 35 next season, has a $48.8MM salary for next season and a player option for $52.2MM for the 2025/26 season.

Butler is seeking a two-year maximum extension for $113MM in which he’d decline the $52.2MM option in order to get an extra year of guaranteed salary. Miami president Pat Riley indicated during his annual postseason press conference he’d be reluctant to make that commitment, noting that Butler has missed chunks of time in recent seasons.

“It’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources, unless you have someone who is going to be available every night,” Riley said.

Butler hasn’t appeared in more than 64 regular season games in any of his five years in Miami and was unavailable for the playoffs this spring due to an MCL sprain.

Butler stated in a GQ interview his preference is to finish his career with Miami.

 “I feel at home, man. I really care about the city, I really care about the people in this city,” Butler said. “Miami has embraced me.”

There’s no indication that the Heat have any plans to trade Butler unless he forces the issue. Beyond that, the Sixers — seeking another star to join forces with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey — would seemingly have to strike out on the George front before turning to other options.

The Sixers do feel they erred by shipping Butler to Miami in a sign-and-trade five years ago and could make amends by slotting him into one of their forward spots.

Philadelphia is in the rare position of being a playoff contender with the ability to absorb a huge salary. The Sixers could have close to $65MM in cap space this summer and they’ll also have five first-round picks and multiple pick swaps available to trade, beginning at the start of the draft, Pompey notes.

The Sixers have also been linked to the Lakers’ LeBron James and Knicks’ OG Anunoby in free agency. Bulls wing Zach LaVine and the Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram could emerge as potential trade targets if they must go further down the wish list.

Fischer’s Latest: Sixers, George, Mitchell, LeBron, Butler, Kuzma, More

With Joel Embiid at center and Tyrese Maxey heading up their backcourt, the Sixers will enter this offseason with significant cap room and a desire to fill the gap between their two incumbent stars with an elite two-way wing, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. According to Fischer, Philadelphia views its opportunity as something similar to the one Golden State had in 2016, when a huge single-year cap spike allowed the Warriors to create the room to add Kevin Durant to a core that already featured Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Whether the 76ers will be able to add a player anywhere near Durant’s level is unclear. Paul George – who has been on Daryl Morey‘s radar since he worked in Houston’s front office, per Fischer – has frequently been cited as the most logical target for the club, but the Clippers remain hopeful they’ll be able to lock up the star forward to a new contract.

As Fischer writes, there are two major factors worth keeping an eye on in regard to George’s situation. One is a belief from rival teams and agents that the Clippers aren’t inclined to commit guaranteed money beyond the three-year window that begins in 2024/25. If that’s the case, a four-year offer from the Sixers or another club could appeal to George.

The second consideration to monitor is whether the Clippers’ ability to give George a no-trade clause could be a difference-maker in negotiations. That would only be an option if George turns down his player option and reaches free agency, but it’s something Philadelphia wouldn’t be able to offer, since a player must have spent at least four years with a team to qualify for a no-trade clause.

In considering other potential suitors for George, Fischer mentions the Magic and the Pacers, though he acknowledges that chatter about the possibility of George returning to Indiana predated the team’s acquisition of Pascal Siakam. The Knicks and Heat are among the other teams expected to go star-hunting, Fischer notes.

For what it’s worth, multiple player agents suggested to Fischer that they’d advise their clients to consider Embiid’s injury history and inconsistent playoff availability before committing to Philadelphia in free agency.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Sixers are willing to sacrifice draft capital and commit future money in order to chase a title next season, Fischer states. If Philadelphia is unable to land an impact player this offseason, the team will likely focus on shorter-term commitments with little to no guaranteed money beyond this season in order to retain flexibility for when another star becomes available. Sources tell Yahoo Sports that the 76ers “took note” of the two-year, $45MM deal the Pacers completed with Bruce Brown last summer, which was only guaranteed for one year and was ultimately used to accommodate the Siakam trade. Warriors swingman Thompson and Nuggets wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be among Philadelphia’s potential free agent targets for similar one-plus-one deals, Fischer reports.
  • The Sixers would be one of the potential suitors for Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell if he’s made available this offseason, but Cleveland has expressed confidence about extending Mitchell, according to Fischer, who says that firing J.B. Bickerstaff is widely viewed as a move toward the team keeping Mitchell long-term.
  • Discussing other possible Sixers trade or free agency targets, Fischer says there’s been no indication from league personnel that LeBron James is seriously considering leaving the Lakers. League executives also believe that Jimmy Butler – who may be the player Morey tried to acquire most often in Houston – will stay with the Heat, Fischer continues. Bulls guard Zach LaVine is another possibility for Philadelphia, but likely only if Chicago or another team is willing to attach draft assets to dump salary, Fischer adds.
  • Kyle Kuzma is expected to be back on the trade block this summer, Fischer writes, though he cautions that the Wizards‘ asking price at this year’s trade deadline was too high for most interested suitors.
  • While rival executives around the NBA have praised the Celtics and Timberwolves for the rosters they’ve built, many of those execs also believe that tax apron concerns could result in those teams being unable to keep all their core pieces over the long term, per Fischer.

Heat Notes: Butler, Herro, FA Options, Rozier, Draft

As reported a couple weeks ago by Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, Heat forward Jimmy Butler is expected to seek a two-year, maximum-salary extension before the season begins. However, it isn’t certain how the team will respond to that request from Butler.

In a new story, Chiang reviews Butler’s fifth season with Miami, writing that there were both promising and worrying aspects of the campaign. Butler led the team most major advanced statistics even though many of his counting stats were down, and he was limited to just 60 regular season games, including being sidelined for the Heat’s entire first-round series with Boston after sustaining a knee injury in the play-in tournament.

As Chiang writes, a potential extension would mean paying Butler a projected $58.6MM for his age-37 season in 2026/27. Only two players — LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — have averaged 20-plus points per game in the postseason during a championship-winning campaign at age 35 or older (Butler will be 35 in September).

Butler has led the Heat to two NBA Finals appearances in his five seasons with Miami, but how much longer can he maintain his current level? And what will he do if the team takes a wait-and-see approach to his impending request? Those are just two of the myriad questions the Heat must weigh regarding their best player’s future with the organization, Chiang notes.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • In a separate piece for The Miami Herald, Chiang provides his season in review for Tyler Herro, who missed 40 regular season games and struggled at times in the first-round loss to Boston. While Pat Riley said Herro needs to get stronger to hold up to the rigors of a long season, head coach Erik Spoelstra praised the 24-year-old’s work ethic and expects him to continue to evolve. “He’ll probably take about the same amount of days off that I’ll take and then he’ll get right back to work and learn from these experiences,” Spoelstra said. “Most young players when they make their big jumps, it’s usually from some disappointments that happen in the playoffs and it drives you with experience. It’s always the best teacher.”
  • As a team expected to be over at least the first tax apron, the Heat will have relatively limited options at their disposal in free agency, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. That’s largely due to the money ($51.56MM) owed to Terry Rozier over the next two seasons. When the Heat acquired him in a January trade, they were well aware of the future luxury tax ramifications, but believed he’d make a bigger impact than the players available on the open market for the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, according to Jackson, who points out that Rozier’s salary could be a useful matching piece in a star-level trade.
  • While many talent evaluators have stated the 2024 NBA draft class lacks top-end talent, VP of basketball operations and assistant GM Adam Simon pushed back on that notion, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Simon said he will continue to be focused on the best available players on the board when the team makes its selections — the Heat currently control the Nos. 15 and 43 picks, with Winderman noting they’ve had success drafting in the middle of the first round (Herro, Bam Adebayo and Jaime Jaquez). “I’m not drafting for the team we have,” Simon said. “I’m going to recommend the players one through 15, one through 58, based on who I think the best players are. … The last thing I want to do is we pass on a player who was better because we took a player based on need.”

Heat Notes: D. Robinson, Butler, Draft, CBA

After a down year in 2022/23, Duncan Robinson enjoyed perhaps his best season as a pro in ’23/24. The Heat forward boosted his scoring average from 6.4 to 12.9 points per game, made 39.5% of his three-pointers, and handed out a career-high 2.8 assists per contest.

As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (subscription required) writes, Robinson’s five-year, $90MM contract once looked like an albatross that the Heat would have trouble moving. But with just two years left on the deal (at $19.4MM and a partially guaranteed $19.9MM), Winderman suggests that Robinson looks like a reasonable investment — especially since he believes, after turning 30 last month, that he still has room to improve.

“I just turned 30, which is crazy,” Robinson said. “But what might even be crazier is I still think I’m far from a finished product. And maybe people say 28 to whatever is your prime, but I feel like prime is still ahead of me, so we’ll see.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Jimmy Butler remains committed to the idea of finishing his NBA career with the Heat, he recently told Rohan Nadkarni of GQ. “I feel at home, man. I really care about the city, I really care about the people in this city,” Butler said. “Miami has embraced me. They’ve wanted me to bring them something they haven’t done since LeBron, D-Wade and C-Bosh. And I want to do that. So as soon as I get this knee back right, I’m right back on they ass and everybody know it.” For what it’s worth, Butler made those comments to Nadkarni a couple days before Pat Riley‘s end-of-season press conference, though there has been no indication that any of Riley’s comments about his star forward will change Butler’s thinking.
  • While Riley has spoken in the past about not being “a draft-pick guy,” this will be the third straight year that the Heat own a first-rounder, according to Winderman, who notes that the team has used those picks well in recent drafts, selecting Nikola Jovic at No. 27 in 2022 and Jaime Jaquez at No. 18 in 2023. Following the team’s first-round playoff exit, Miami’s front office will have the better part of two months to focus on how to use this year’s 15th and 43rd overall selections, which head coach Erik Spoelstra joked might be too much time. “I figure I had three days to get up to the draft last year,” Spoelstra said. “The eight weeks leading up to (this year), I think I’ll be just probably over-confused from over-analysis. I’ll stay out of the way. Like now that I have more time, I’m probably dangerous. I’ll stay out of the way of our scouting department. They do an exceptional job, (general manager) Adam Simon and his staff, preparing for that draft.”
  • In a pair of stories for The Miami Herald, Anthony Chiang presents a player-by-player breakdown of what’s next for everyone on the Heat’s roster, while Chiang and Barry Jackson take a closer look at how the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will affect Miami’s roster flexibility this summer.

Jimmy Butler’s Agent Responds To Pat Riley’s Comments

Following Pat Riley‘s end-of-season comments about Heat star Jimmy Butler on Monday, agent Bernie Lee confirmed that the two sides spoke last year about his client playing in every game he possibly could, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (subscription required). According to Lee, any insinuation that Butler didn’t hold up his end of the bargain is misguided.

“Jimmy missed 22 games this past year, a mix of personal reasons and injury,” Lee told Winderman. “If there was a game that was on the schedule that Jimmy was healthy enough to participate in, he did that. He played in a number of back-to-backs and it was the utmost priority to him to do everything he can to be available.”

Riley spoke on Monday about making player availability a top priority going forward and seemed to be challenging his players to fight through minor ailments.

“I’m not going to ever accuse a player who can’t play that he doesn’t want to play or he’s not able to play,” Riley said, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “But there’s no such thing as 100 percent in the NBA, there just isn’t.”

When asked about a possible contract extension for Butler, who will become eligible for a new deal on July 7, he told reporters it would be a “big decision” for the team to make that sort of financial commitment “unless you’re somebody who’s really going to be there, available every single night.”

Speaking to Winderman, Lee pointed out that Butler’s minutes per game average this season (34.0) was his highest since he joined the Heat and that he was one of just a dozen players aged 33 or older who played 2,000+ minutes in 2023/24.

While the star swingman was unable to play in the first round of the postseason vs. Boston due to an MCL sprain, he has logged nearly 2,500 playoff minutes (essentially a full season’s worth) since arriving in Miami. That workload should be factored into the availability discussion, Lee said, adding that he’d like “a little bit more clarity” on Riley’s comments.

“The thought that Jimmy is picking and choosing when to play isn’t reality,” Lee said. “I enjoy watching him play as much, if not more, than anyone. So believe me, I want to see him play every night. But unfortunately he isn’t a robot and injuries and circumstances happen. Prior to the year, we had a meeting to discuss the changing NBA rules and the need to reject load management, And we all understood the assignment. Jimmy’s 22 games missed were all for valid issues and concerns.”

Butler remains committed to the Heat, according to Lee, who didn’t given any indication that anything said during Monday’s presser – which included Riley advising his star to “keep (his) mouth shut” regarding criticism of the Celtics and Knicks – will negatively impact how his client feels about his future in Miami.

“Once he got to this organization, he got to an organization that wholeheartedly has embraced him in every single way,” Lee said. “Look, they’re both cut from the same cloth. There’s going to be honest conversations that have to be had this summer about how to move forward, but those conversations aren’t going to be driven by anything other than, ‘How do we do this to move forward to take the next step, and win a championship?'”

Heat’s Pat Riley Talks Butler, Injuries, Herro, Rozier, More

Player availability – or lack thereof – was a focus for Pat Riley during the Heat president’s annual end-of-season press conference, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Riley repeatedly brought up the fact that Miami needs to have its best players available more often and made it clear that figuring out how to improve on that front will be a goal this offseason.

“That’s a deep dive for us this summer, player availability,” Riley said. “We must change some things but we aren’t going to rip anything apart.”

Riley’s most noteworthy comments on the subject came when he was asked about the possibility of a contract extension for Jimmy Butler. The star swingman is expected to look to tack on another year to his current deal, which runs through 2024/25 with a player option for ’25/26. But Riley said the team has yet to internally discuss that possibility and wouldn’t commit to giving Butler a new contract if he asks for one, pointing out that the front office doesn’t need to make that decision before 2025.

“It’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources, unless you have someone who is going to be available every night,” Riley said (Twitter link via Jackson), adding that Butler’s availability was “discussed thoroughly” a year ago with his agent. The 34-year-old hasn’t appeared in more than 64 regular season games in a single season during his five years in Miami and was unavailable for the playoffs this spring due to an MCL sprain.

Amid recent speculation that Butler’s days in Miami could be numbered, Riley offered an even more eyebrow-raising quote when asked about the six-time All-Star’s claim that the Celtics and Knicks would “be at home” if he had been able to play in the postseason. Riley admitted he didn’t know whether Butler was “trolling” or serious, but suggested he shouldn’t have said anything either way.

“If you’re not on the court playing against Boston or on the court playing against the New York Knicks, you should keep your mouth shut on the criticism of those teams,” Riley said (Twitter link via Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald).

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Asked if Miami would consider trading Butler if their other non-Bam Adebayo assets aren’t enough to acquire a star player, Riley said no, adding that the goal isn’t necessarily to add a third star. “There are a possibility a lot of things are on the table,” Riley said, per Jackson. “It’s not about getting another star. You get another star, your bench gets weaker.”
  • Riley was noncommittal when asked if the Heat would like to cut payroll this summer, acknowledging that the team will have to look at the “collateral damage” of operating over the first or second tax apron. However, he stressed that he doesn’t anticipate major changes and that the organization “is not about rebuilding.” “We’ve got a really good group of guys,” he said. “The No. 1 issue is player availability and having your guys healthy to play every night. We have to wrap our arms around that notion. When I talk to (Heat owners) Micky (Arison) and Nick (Arison), they understand this.”
  • Riley doesn’t necessarily agree with Udonis Haslem‘s opinion that Tyler Herro would be better off as a sixth man, noting that Haslem – a Heat employee – probably shouldn’t have shared that take on an ESPN broadcast. “Tyler is a starter,” Riley said, according to Jackson. “Is (coming off the bench) something you are going to ask a player one day? That’s where a coach has a job to do. … Whether it be (Herro or someone else), he may. Whatever is in the best interests of the team. We won’t know until we have everybody available.”
  • Addressing the neck injury that sidelined Terry Rozier for the playoffs, Riley said it shouldn’t be a long-term issue and added that the veteran guard was “everything I expected” after arriving in Miami from Charlotte. “It’s a process; it takes time. He said he feels good,” Riley said. “When you’re dealing with a spine, you’re not going to mess around with it. It’s going to heal. Doctors convinced us and him that in time it will heal and go away.”

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Horst, Butler, Sixers, Hornets, Nets, More

Now that the Bucks‘ season has come to an end, the Pistons are expected to formally seek permission to interview Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst for their president of basketball operations job soon, Marc Stein reports in his latest story at Substack. According to Stein, it’s not yet known whether the Bucks will grant Detroit permission to meet with Horst, a Michigan native who began his NBA career in the Pistons’ basketball operations department.

Elsewhere in his Substack article, Stein says that Jimmy Butler‘s future has become an “increasingly hot topic” around the NBA following the Heat‘s first-round playoff exit. Multiple rival teams have wondered if the Sixers will make a run at trading for Butler this offseason in an effort to reunite the star swingman with good friend Joel Embiid, per Stein. The Embiid/Butler 76ers took the eventual-champion Raptors down to the wire in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2019, but were broken up less than two months later when Butler was signed-and-traded to Miami.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Several executives around the NBA thought the Hornets would have concluded their head coaching search by now, but the team is taking a “very methodical” approach to the process and there’s no specific timeline to make a hire, Rod Boone writes in a mailbag for The Charlotte Observer. Boone’s mailbag also explores Charlotte’s draft strategy and how to revitalize the team’s brand, among other topics.
  • How much of a difference could it make for the Nets to have a healthy Ben Simmons and Dariq Whitehead next season? Net Income of Nets Daily explores that subject, citing league insiders who say Brooklyn has no plans to waive Simmons this offseason.
  • With Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby set to square off in the second round of the playoffs as members of the Pacers and Knicks, respectively, the Raptors will “catch some sass” for trading away both players this season, writes Eric Koreen of The Athletic. Given how well the two forwards have played alongside backcourt stars – Tyrese Haliburton in Indiana and Jalen Brunson in New York – Koreen wonders if things went wrong in Toronto because the club couldn’t find the right “dynamic” guard to allow Siakam and Anunoby to play their proper roles.
  • James L. Edwards III of The Athletic previews next week’s draft combine from a Pistons perspective, identifying the players the club will have its eye on in the top five and naming a few prospects who could make sense at No. 53. Edwards views Alexandre Sarr as the player likeliest to be atop Detroit’s board, with Stephon Castle, Cody Williams, Donovan Clingan, and Matas Buzelis in the next tier.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Harris, Wizards, Adebayo, Butler

The playoff experience that the young Magic players were excited to get now includes the intense pressure of a Game 7, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando faces Cleveland this afternoon with the season on the line for both squads, and Wendell Carter Jr. believes he and his teammates are in the right frame of mind for a victory.

“We didn’t come all this way to just lose a Game 7,” Carter said.

Beede notes that for the Magic to win, they’ll have to find a reliable source of offense. Orlando has lost all three games at Cleveland so far and has the second-worst offensive rating on the road in the playoffs, slightly ahead of the Cavaliers.

“We kind of look at it as another game,” Carter said. “There’s a little bit more urgency, of course, but we never want to get too high or too low for games like this. That’s what the great players do. As a unit, we’re super excited to be in this position.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic will have Gary Harris available for Game 7, Beede tweets. The veteran swingman had been listed as questionable after missing Game 6 with a strained right hamstring. Coach Jamahl Mosley declined to tell reporters whether Harris will start or come off the bench.
  • This offseason marks the next step in the Wizards‘ rebuilding process that team president Michael Winger and general manager Will Dawkins began last summer, observes Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network. After they were hired, the focus was on ridding the team of high-priced vets such as Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. Now they’ll try to build up the roster, starting with another high lottery pick in this year’s draft. “It won’t be an easier an offseason, it will be a [different offseason]. We did a lot of heavy lifting last offseason and we moved humongous features of the organization,” Winger said. “We don’t necessarily have to do that this offseason. So, this offseason is probably a lot of incremental moves whereas last offseason was a few significant moves.”
  • Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel looks at important dates for the Heat‘s offseason. Two of the most significant are July 6, when Bam Adebayo will become eligible for a three-year, $165MM extension (which could be much larger if he wins Defensive Player of the Year or is named to an All-NBA team) and July 7, when Jimmy Butler will be eligible for a two-year, $112.9MM extension.

Heat Notes: Martin, Second Apron, Spoelstra, Butler

Caleb Martin said at Friday’s exit interviews that his preference is to remain with the Heat, but Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald explains that the team’s financial situation may not make that realistic. Martin has a $7.1MM player option for next season, which he’s expected to turn down to seek a longer and more lucrative contract in free agency.

“Everybody knows I want to be here. I make that known,” Martin told reporters. “That’s my goal is to be able to stay here, make it work. I want to be here as long as possible and for them to want me to come back. That’s my main goal.”

As we noted recently, it will be difficult for Miami to re-sign Martin and free agent Haywood Highsmith without crossing the second tax apron for next season. Chiang points out that the Heat have seven players under contract for 2024/25, and assuming Kevin Love, Josh Richardson and Thomas Bryant all pick up their options, the team salary would be around $173MM with five slots left to fill.

Adding $4.2MM for the 15th pick in the draft, another $2.1MM for Orlando Robinson‘s contract, which is non-guaranteed for next season, and $2.5MM in unlikely bonuses for Tyler Herro, which have to be included for apron calculations, brings that total to $181.8MM for 12 players. That’s already above the projected first apron of $179MM and only $8.2MM away from the severe restrictions that are part of the second apron.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Coach Erik Spoelstra rejects the idea that the Heat didn’t place enough emphasis on the regular season and didn’t make a strong attempt to avoid the play-in tournament, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. After advancing from the play-in to the NBA Finals last year, there was a perception that Miami was content to try to do it again, which led to a bad first-round matchup with Boston. “To say that we did not philosophically take the regular season seriously, that’s totally off base,” Spoelstra said. “I could see why people would point to that because of missed games. We’re not a load-management team. There were things that happened and sometimes you can’t control that.”
  • With Jimmy Butler expected to seek a two-year extension worth about $113MM, ESPN’s Zach Lowe speculated on his latest podcast that Butler could be on the trade market this summer (hat tip to Bleacher Report). “There are scenarios, let’s just say, where the Heat trade Jimmy Butler for some future assets and some other stuff,” Lowe said, “… and that gives them the ammo to go out and call the Cavs, and say, ‘Hey, what about Donovan Mitchell?'” Butler is under contract through next season and has a $52.4MM player option for 2025/26.
  • Butler made some pointed comments about two Eastern Conference rivals and one of his former coaches (Twitter link from Rock the Bells). “If I was playing, Boston would be at home,” said Butler, who missed the first-round series with an MCL sprain. “New York damn sure would be f—ing at home.” Butler also rejected the idea that Josh Hart could guard him and said he has “love” for Tom Thibodeau but wouldn’t be interested in playing for him again. “I love Thibs but I don’t want Thibs,” Butler continued. “I love you baby, but I want to beat you to a pulp. You want me. I don’t want you. It’s like a one-sided relationship. You in love with me and I love you but I’m not in love with you.”