Miami Heat: How Jimmy Butler’s health ties to big man depth

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat blocks a shot by Montrezl Harrell #6 of the Charlotte Hornets(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat blocks a shot by Montrezl Harrell #6 of the Charlotte Hornets(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat didn’t make any big moves this offseason. Losing their starting power forward from last season, P.J. Tucker, they also didn’t go about the business of directly filling his spot either.

Though they have a few guys they can try at the four spot or for the majority of those minutes in the rotation, it’s more of an unknown at the moment than being anything close to a certainty. Again though, they do have a few options.

Darius Days, Haywood Highsmith, Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic, and perhaps even Bam Adebayo, among others, should all be in line to see minutes at the four spot. Though Bam has typically been the center during his time in the league, he has the skills and the Miami Heat have the necessary bigger bodies than him to be able to deploy him that way.

The Miami Heat didn’t make a huge deal this offseason, but still could use PF depth. Until they do, a lot of that load may fall on Jimmy Butler.

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But even outside of all that though, what are some of the other options? Well, there is one that still sees Adebayo as the biggest Miami Heat guy on the court.

If that is the case, considering who may see the majority of the minutes this season, and how the rotations might shake out, that leads to one other viable assumption—Jimmy Butler may see time at the four until or if they can account for those minutes otherwise.

When you think about the guys that the Miami Heat will roll out there on most occasions, Victor Oladipo, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, perhaps even Duncan Robinson, and the other power forward options mentioned, Butler is probably the most well-suited certainty, at the moment, to operate at the four spot for elongated periods of time.

And by banging around against, at least, slightly bigger dudes, Butler will endure a lot of wear and tear. Now, while you hope he misses no time at all during the year, that isn’t what Butler’s history says will happen.

And in combination with that fact, the fact that he may be their most suitable option at the four spot, outside of anyone else 6’9″ and above on the roster, that could lead to spottier health until they can figure out how to not have to play him there. That can only mean bringing in another guy or rolling with Bam as the main four.

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And that’s how Jimmy Butler’s health ties to the Miami Heat’s big man depth—or lack thereof.