Roundtable: What star should the Miami Heat target first this offseason?

And should the Miami Heat trade Jimmy Butler?
Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Should the Miami Heat sign Jimmy Butler to an extension or trade him? What areas does the team need to improve? The All U Can Heat staff got together to answer the latest round of questions.

There might be a middle ground, but you have to pick one: Would you rather the Miami Heat offer Jimmy Butler the max, two-year, $113 million contract extension, or trade him this summer?

Daniel Riccio: Jimmy Butler has done the most with less in his time in South Beach. After years of mediocrity, Butler put the Miami Heat back on the map. Although it shouldn’t even be a question or debate, I would rather he receive that max extension this summer than trade him if it came down to those only two options. A guy who has led this team to two NBA Finals and a game 7 of an Eastern Conference finals has more than justified his worth. 

Even with Butler going into his age-35 season, he has the skill set and IQ to age like fine wine. If the Heat can make a splash during the offseason, I think it would entice Butler to stick around and prove he is worth that extension by the middle of next season. He is still under contract and Miami has until next summer to offer that extension or not. 

Brennan Sims: Jimmy Butler is on the Mount Rushmore for Heat players. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are the only players that definitely rank above him. We love Jimmy for everything he’s accomplished in a Heat uniform. That said, I’d rather trade him than pay him $113 million over two years. 

He’s approaching 35 years old, doesn’t play as much as other superstars, and the Heat have battled to make the play-in tournament the last two years. It would be different if Miami were perennial top contenders in the conference(1-4 seeds) 

The Heat already set a precedent for aging superstars when they let D-Wade walk in the 2017 offseason. If the franchise’s GOAT couldn’t get a lucrative deal like this, I don’t expect Butler to, either.

What’s Miami’s biggest team need this summer?

Riccio: The Heat’s biggest team need is another dynamic scorer. This has to be someone who has the capability of filling it up during tough stretches and can create their own offense. They simply couldn’t keep up with the offensive firepower against the Boston Celtics in the first round. Granted, Miami was without the services of their two best scorers in Butler and Terry Rozier. But nonetheless, another scorer can take pressure off of Butler and be a seamless fit into the team’s rotation. 

The Heat had a top-five defensive rating this season, but 21st in offensive rating. Clearly more of a balance between both sides of the ball needs to be implemented here, and adding more scoring talent will be the best way to go.

Sims: The Heat desperately need to acquire a versatile 30-point scorer. The defense will always be there with Erik Spoelstra and Bam Adebayo’s presence in the building, but the offense has been a rugged mess the last two years. Save the grittiness for defense, not offense. 

A scorer who can get to the rim, has an intermediate game, and shoots the ball from deep would do wonders for this dreadful offense. Tyler Herro is a bucket-getter, but he’s limited in attacking the rim. Bam isn’t a natural scorer, so I think it’s too much to ask him to go out there and average 25 PPG while being the best defender in basketball. Jimmy is getting up there in age, so it’s too much on his shoulders to be this unconscious scorer.

Who is at the top of your star-hunting big board?

Riccio: The Heat are going to be linked to all three of Donovan Mitchell, LeBron James and Kevin Durant this offseason. Miami has the winning culture, championship aspirations and geographic advantage in their favor in terms of attracting talent on the market. With that being said, James is at the very top of my star-hunting big board. 

The possibility of a potential father-son duo with Bronny James in the draft could be the first domino that would have to fall here. James has a storied history with the Heat franchise, and there is just something about a reunion and retiring in the same system that helped elevate his career that could create a polarizing storyline. A James acquisition could maximize Butler’s title window and even line up for the next franchise pivot once the all-time talent rides off into the sunset after a couple more years. This timeline could have Miami move to Mitchell in the midst of his prime once he hits free agency in two years, rather than trade assets for him now.

Sims: This leads me to my next point: The Heat need to do everything to snatch Donovan Mitchell from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Fans can argue what tier of player he is, but he’s undoubtedly the type of scorer we need and a playoff riser. He has an established relationship with potential Heat lifer Bam Adebayo. Those two could be a duo that plays a decade together, bringing Miami back to the glory days.

If you could add one skill, NBA 2K style, to any player on the roster, who would it be and what skill?

Riccio: Easy: Bam Adebayo with a 3-point shot. This is also one that is more realistic, considering Adebayo added that to his arsenal towards the end of this season. Heck, he even has a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win the game under his belt now. This is an undersized big man who has a plethora of versatility on both ends of the floor. Integrating a CONSISTENT 3-point shot to his game can unleash the full potential here. 

We’ve seen Adebayo get better at every facet of his game throughout his career, and this would be the final step that could help make him unstoppable. Floor spreading is such an important part of today’s game that it has become more common for bigs to be able to shoot. Adebayo has flashed potential in that department, now he needs to let it fly confidently. 

It would do wonders for coach Erik Spoelstra to be able to have this type of ability from his All-Star big man. The game would come easier for everybody involved and would dramatically improve the offense. 

Sims: Tyler Herro would be the superstar he was destined to be if he could get downhill at a higher rate. That would open up everything in his game. If he had Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's driving ability, he'd be the 30-point-type scorer the Heat need.

Herro is already one of the best shooters on Earth. His shot diet is challenging, full of running, fallaway, off-pin downs, off-the-dribble, and contested 3-point shots. These shots would come much easier if he were a more dangerous threat to attack the rim. If he had Shai's 2k driving rating, defenses would have to give him a feather of space because he could blow by them. More room equals easier jumpers. With this new skill, Herro would get to the free-throw line twice as much.