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How Miami can land Jimmy Butler

by FiveThirtyEight
by FiveThirtyEight

So Jimmy Butler went from wanting to be with the Knicks, Nets, or Clippers to wanting to be in South Beach Miami Florida with the Miami Heat. Talk about a change in direction, but Miami is always a dark horse to land any superstar on the trade or free agent market. Here's how Miami can snag their next superstar.

What assets do the Heat have?

by Heat Zone - Palm Beach Post
by Heat Zone - Palm Beach Post

Miami own their own first round draft pick up until 2021. Since they do not own their 2021 pick, Miami cannot trade their 2020 or 2022 pick due to the Ted Stepien rule; thus the only picks eligible are 2019, 2023, and beyond. There is an option to swap their 2020 or 2022 picks, but it's unlikely that Miami would be a bottom dweller if they were to trade for Jimmy Butler.

In terms of 2nd round picks, Miami only has one in 2022, 2025, and 2026.

by Heat Zone - Palm Beach Post
by Heat Zone - Palm Beach Post

A mid to late first round draft pick alone wouldn't be enough to land Butler, Miami would surely have to throw in one of their younger plays. The Heat would have to lose either Justice Winslow, Bam Adebayo, or Josh Richardson. There have already been reports of Miami shooting down any talks when Josh Richardson is involved.

Can Miami just sign Butler?

No and Heat fans can thank the summer of 2016 for that, where Miami went a little nuts with their signings. Jimmy Butler is on the hook for roughly $20 million this up coming season and here are the contracts Miami can use to match salaries:

  • Hassan Whiteside: $25.4 million this season; 2 years, $52.5 million remaining
  • Tyler Johnson: $19.2 million this season; 2 years, $38.5 million remaining
  • Goran Dragic: $18.1 million this season; 2 years, $37.3 million remaining
  • James Johnson: $14.6 million this season; 3 years, $46 million remaining
  • Dion Waiters: $11.5 million this season; 3 years, $36.3 million remaining
  • Kelly Olynyk: $12.5 million this season; 3 years, $39.2 million remaining
by Hoops Habit
by Hoops Habit

There's a whole lot of pain there…sorry Heat fans.

What would a realistic trade look like?

Well first the standard needs to be set, superstars have been trading for pennies on the dollar recently and this will be no different. Remember Minnesota gave up an injured Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and 7th overall pick for Butler and the No.16 pick. Not exactly a haul for Butler, but not horrible.

Miami deals with Minnesota directly:

Minnesota gets: Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Kelly Olynyk

Miami gets: Jimmy Butler, Gorgui Dieng

Why this works: Minnesota dumps Dieng's contract and takes back some good talent in return; Miami gets their man in Butler and minor cap relief.

A third team enters the ring:

Minnesota gets: Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Kelly Olynyk

Miami gets: Jimmy Butler, Iman Shumpert

Sacramento gets: 2019 first round pick via Miami, Gorgui Dieng

Why this works: Minnesota dumps Dieng, Miami gets Butler, Sacramento gets another pick to stash.

We can get really creative

Phoenix has kicked the tires on Tyus Jones and since the Suns need a point guard, they could be roped into a bigger picture with a Jimmy Butler trade. For this to work though, every party wins as much as they lose.

Minnesota gets: Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Tyson Chandler,

Miami gets: Jimmy Butler, Iman Shumpert,

Sacramento gets: Gorgui Dieng, 2019 first round pick via Miami

Phoenix gets: Kosta Kofus, Tyus Jones

At the end of the day, there are a lot of ways Miami can get Jimmy Butler down to South Beach. There is obviously mutual interest but can the Heat pull it off? Only time will tell.

This article was originally published on @justin9944