NBA Rumors: Heat, Jimmy Butler, Bucks, Brook Lopez, Knicks


The Heat have multiple tough decisions to make this summer and don’t have a whole lot of cap space to make things happen.Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, NBA news

One year after losing Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, they could lose Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith.

Then there’s Jimmy Butler, who has indicated he wants a max contract extension. Butler will be 35 when next season starts.

“That’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources unless you’re somebody who’s going to be there, available, every single night,” head of basketball operations Pat Riley told reporters.

Basically, there are no easy answers for the Heat.

“If Miami can get Butler to agree to less, it should,” wrote Chris Herring of ESPN. “Either way, the club looks likely to land where it often does: largely reliant on internal development and improvement, due to its limited cap space.”

  • One report suggested that Butler is a true trade candidate. “Whether you think having Jimmy Butler disgruntled in the final year of a deal sounds like a fun time is certainly something everyone has to decide,” wrote Matt Moore of The Action Network. “But there’s at least a feeling in league circles that if the Heat decide not to extend him at his preferred price, they’ll facilitate a deal.”
  • Butler’s preference, however, is to remain in Miami, as we relayed here.


A full season of Damian Lillard (and not Jrue Holiday) showed that the Bucks’ defense may no longer be championship-caliber.

“Because of that, the team should seek a younger, versatile, point-of-attack defender to help ease the burden defensively for Lillard, whether it’s through the draft or via trade,” Herring wrote.

  • One possible trade candidate: Center Brook Lopez, as we relayed here. “There are rumblings that the Bucks would like to play a more versatile style of defense next season, which raises the question of whether Brook Lopez has a future there,” wrote Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer


The Knicks’ primary goal should be to run it back, though that will require keeping free agents OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein, both of whom will command “top dollar” this offseason, per Herring.

“The Knicks can and should deal backup center Mitchell Robinson to free up money to throw Hartenstein’s way, and should cut bait with backup Bojan Bogdanovic, whose $19 million contract is only partially guaranteed this coming season,” Herring wrote. “New York can potentially find a better-fitting reserve for his spot.”

  • Along with that, the Knicks have plenty of draft picks to use if they are aiming to find another All-Star type, “but this group deserves an opportunity to play at full strength first before pulling that lever,” Herring added.
  • One hypothetical trade sends Robinson and Julius Randle to the Suns in a deal for Kevin Durant. We have that full story here.
  • So far, it appears that Anunoby is less than thrilled with what the Knicks have offered. (Full story.)

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