Jimmy Butler could seek a contract extension comparable to the one Jaylen Brown just signed with the Celtics, according to a report. Can the Miami Heat afford it?
The Boston Celtics last week agreed to sign Jaylen Brown to a five-year supermax contract extension worth $304 million. The extension, which will begin in the 2024-25 season and was first reported by the Athletic, is the richest deal in NBA history. But Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler reportedly hopes to exceed it with his next deal.
According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Butler will look “for an extension soon enough, in essence asking for something even beyond Jaylen Brown money.”
Butler, who is under contract for the next two seasons, becomes extension-eligible again next summer. His current deal will pay him $45.1 million this season, $48.8 for 2024-25 and has a player option for $52.4 million in 2025-26.
Butler will be 36 years old at the start of that final season. The Heat could be hesitant to pay Butler upwards of $300 million — or north of $60 million annually — at that stage of his career.
Still, as the salary cap goes up, star players will be seeking greater and greater contracts. It’s not a surprise that Butler would look at Brown’s deal and want more. Butler has led the Heat to two of the last four NBA Finals and defeated the Celtics in last season’s conference finals. His career resume is more complete than Brown’s, he’s just not as young.
A long-term commitment to Butler might be too rich. Perhaps there will be a middle ground, especially if the Heat manage to acquire another star like Damian Lillard and extend Miami’s championship window. As such, there is more pressing business in the foreground for the Heat’s front office, but Butler’s extension demands appear to be looming in the background.