3 Stars every team should avoid trading for this summer

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
4 of 4

1) Jimmy Butler

The Athletic’s Shams Charania recently reported that Jimmy Butler intends to play out the upcoming season under his current contract and is unwilling to sign an extension with the Miami Heat or anyone ahead of his opt-out clause in 2025. While Miami has shown no interest in trading Butler in the past, that may change given Pat Riley’s comments at the end-of-season news conference coupled with Butler’s recent decision. 

At the aforementioned news conference, Riley was non-committal while discussing Butler’s future in South Beach stating, “That’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources unless you have somebody who’s going to be there and available every single night…We don’t have to do it until 2025, actually.”

Butler’s unwillingness to sign an extension with any team suggests he intends to test free agency and will be looking for a huge payday. If he opts out at the end of the season and enters the free agent market, Butler will be eligible for a four-year maximum extension projected to be worth $243 million with his current team or a maximum three-year, $171 million contract elsewhere.

Yes, Butler is a tremendous player on both sides of the ball who somehow always manages to raise his play when it matters most and led the Heat to the NBA Finals twice in the past five seasons. Still, when considering trading Miami’s most impactful player, there are many variables to consider. He’ll be 35 years old in a few months and he’s got a lot of tread on his tires. Various knee, ankle, and foot injuries have forced him to miss significant time in recent years. 

Just as consequential, trading for Butler will be costly for whoever has the gall to make the move. Miami will most assuredly want young talent with ample upside along with multiple draft picks. Mortgaging your future on a player whose history has proven that it’s no guarantee he will re-sign with whoever trades for him, is risky, to say the least. Remember, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired Jimmy Buckets during the 2018-19 season while on an expiring contract and he bolted for Miami in the offseason. 

Even if he is willing to re-sign, you’d not only have to give up a ton of assets to acquire his services, but you would also have to commit a large percentage of the salary cap to an injury-prone, aging superstar. When you consider everything it doesn’t make much sense for a team to trade for Butler unless it thinks he’s the missing piece to winning a championship this season.