5 Unpopular trades the Miami Heat should explore this summer

Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans
Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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1. Trade Jimmy Butler

Don’t close this tab! Before you roll your eyes, hear me out.

Butler is 34 years old and will be eligible for an extension this summer. According to the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, Butler could seek a new deal that rivals the annual value of the five-year, $304 million deal Jaylen Brown signed with the Boston Celtics before the season – or $60 million annually.

Would the Heat really be willing to extend Butler at that rate given his age and their precarious financial position? That seems doubtful.

Butler has said he wants to retire in a Heat jersey, but would he be willing to take less to stay in Miami longterm? Could he just play out his contract, which will pay him $52 million in his age-36 season?

A deal doesn’t have to get struck this year, and both sides could decide to revisit Butler’s contract next summer. But as Butler ages, it could make sense to ink a deal sooner rather than later.

If the Heat can’t work something out with Butler, then they could explore trading the remaining two years on his contract. Butler is owed $48.8 million next season before his $52 million player option for 2025-26. A team seeking a final piece could see Butler as someone who could put them over the top.

Trading Butler would be difficult to accept, but it would also reset the clock and create the roster-building flexibility for the Heat to find a new star to pair with Adebayo. While both the Heat and Butler would prefer to keep their partnership going, money can change things.