Western Conference contender now linked to a Jimmy Butler trade

Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

As teams like the Philadelphia 76rs monitor whether contract negotiations between the Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler lead to a parting of ways, a new team is rumored to be watching the situation closely. 

Should Butler become available in a trade, the Golden State Warriors could emerge as a potential landing spot, according to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.

“If the Heat shop Jimmy Butler, I would expect the Warriors to enter the conversation to at least some degree,” Slater wrote.

If the Miami Heat make Jimmy Butler available in a trade, the Golden State Warriors could "enter the conversation."

Like the Heat, the Warriors are also working to keep an aging roster’s championship window open. Stephen Curry, 36, is still an elite player and Draymond Green figures to remain a core piece going forward, but Klay Thompson will be a free agent this summer and the front office is reportedly motivated to retool the roster around Curry and return to title contention.

So, the Warriors figure to be aggressive in trade talks. (They reportedly explored a Pascal Siakam deal before the Toronto Raptors traded him to the Indiana Pacers before the trade deadline.) 

Butler makes sense for the Warriors in a lot of ways. While he can no longer be the No. 1 option on offense during the regular season, he’s still an elite two-way wing who makes smart decisions. Curry, Green and Butler could sing. And if there’s a team outside of Miami capable of handling Butler’s personality, it’s Golden State.

Figuring out a trade is a bit more difficult but the Warriors do have some intriguing pieces. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley proposed a package of Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Brandin Podziemski, Moses Moody, a 2026 first-round pick and a 2028 first-round pick in exchange for Butler.

Buckley argues the Heat could use these draft picks and young players like Podziemski and Moody to facilitate a trade for another star, and adds, “If anyone could help Wiggins get back on track, it might be Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. And Miami has long needed more size and strength in the frontcourt, which Looney would provide.”

Another version of a Warriors deal could be based on salary cap relief for the Heat. A package that swaps out Wiggins for Chris Paul, whose $30 million is non-guaranteed (it becomes guaranteed on June 28, a day after the conclusion of the draft) could provide much-needed salary-cap relief. If the Heat waived Paul’s $30 million, they would duck $20 million below the tax. Doing that would unlock the non-taxpayer mid-level exception and create flexibility to bring in additional salary or even create cap space.

A lot needs to happen before the Heat seriously entertain moving Butler, but tensions over a new contract are real and worth monitoring. If things deteriorate, other teams like the 76ers and Warriors could be ready to pounce.