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NBA Trade Rumors: New Team Linked To Heat Star Jimmy Butler – Hot Hot Hoops

Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler, who has been involved in many offseason struggles, was linked to yet another team this week. (Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)

By now, you’ve probably seen that the Philadelphia 76ers could make a run at Miami Heat star forward Jimmy Butler, who is eligible for a two-year, $113 million extension this offseason if Miami decides to shop him.

Whether it should be viewed as a high-profile rumor leaked by people close to Daryl Morey — or Morey himself — to try to screw things up for Miami is neither here nor there, but that was smoke in the air.

In fact, it was reported earlier this week that the 76ers would be willing to give Butler a max extension — with his cap space —if was hypothetically traded to Philadelphia. It may be seen as a big if, but one nonetheless.

Now, a new team in the West has reportedly entered the conversation about wanting to kick the can about trading for the 34-year-old: The Golden State Warriors, according to Warriors insider Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

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

Golden State hypothetical trading for Butler is trickier than Philadelphia, which only has Joel Embiid and Paul Reed under contract next year with three tradeable first-round picks (five once draft night arrives). Meanwhile, Golden State is $2.5 million away from the top seed and $13.3 million away from the second seed, per Spotrac.

Factoring in Tyler Herro’s improbable $2.5 million in bonuses and the 15th overall pick, the Heat are less than $500,000 away from being a No. 2 team. Thus, the Heat would not be able to recoup more salary than Butler’s $48.8 million, which would be difficult for Golden State to match without including at least one of Andrew Wiggins ($26.3 million) , Draymond Green ($24.1 million) or Chris Paul ($30.0 million), whose contract is non-guaranteed until June 28.

The Warriors have consistently been near or at the top of the NBA in salary for most of their dynasty. But would he be willing to dig deeper into the tax with the infusion of an older Jimmy Butler and Stephen Curry? He would be willing to part with other valuable assets — such as Jonathan Kuminga, Gary Payton II ($9.1 million player option), Trayce Jackson-Davis, Brandin Podziemski or Moses Moody — to acquire Butler, who is coming off a sprained MCL and has dealt with nearly a handful of lower-body injuries over the past calendar years.

They also have to figure out what they want to do with Klay Thompson, who is an unrestricted free agent, and Kevon Looney, whose $8 million contract is partially guaranteed for next season.

Not only that, but how would any of this interest Miami, hypothetically speaking, if they aren’t willing to give him the $113 million extension? What kind of assets would they be willing to take back, and how would they navigate the taxes with only Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro as their two highest-paid players?

These are all fun questions to think about, although I don’t think this is likely. I said I want to see how this all plays out – it’s a fun conversation, even if it can be tough! That’s what the offseason is for.

(PS I miss the heat season that ends in June…not the first day of May.)

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