Grade the Trade: Heat deal star to Spurs to pair with Wembanyama

Does Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler make sense as a trade target for the Spurs to speed up their timeline around Victor Wembanyama?
Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs
Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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The Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler are going to have a long summer. After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the Heat find themselves in the middle of trade rumors once again. This time, Jimmy Butler is being mentioned as a possible trade candidate.

Butler is extension-eligible with a player option at the end of next season. He is seeking a maximum contract extension. After missing a significant number of games during the regular season and missing the playoffs, the Heat may be unwilling to offer the max to Butler, who turns 35 in September. Despite leading the Heat to two NBA Finals, there seems to still be some tension brewing between Butler and the Heat front office. At least, that is what Pat Riley’s comments sounded like.

If the Heat are unwilling to pay Butler the max, either side could force Butler out of Miami via trade. Butler is likely to have a high price in the market, with contending teams like the 76ers interested in trading for him and offering him a max extension.

Most teams look for a bundle of young players and draft picks when trading away one of their stars. However, the Miami Heat are not like other teams. They are rarely in the lottery because they are almost always in playoff contention. Although the Heat just barely managed to make the playoffs the past two seasons, there is a certain level of confidence that they can still be playoff contenders or even championship contenders with a little bit of luck.

Bleacher Report proposed a trade that would send Jimmy Butler to the San Antonio Spurs. Although the Spurs had one of the worst records in the NBA last season, they are confident in their future thanks to superstar rookie Victor Wembanyama. They might be willing to overpay for a star in order to win as fast as possible with Wembanyama.

Spurs receive: Jimmy Butler

Heat receive: Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Zach Collins, a 2024 first-round pick (via Toronto) a 2027 first-round pick and a 2029 first-round pick

Let's break down why the deal could make sense if the Heat should ultimately do it.