Are Jimmy Butler's days numbered with the Miami Heat?

Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Tough decisions await the Miami Heat this summer. After they made it all the way to the NBA Finals last season, they were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by their rivals, the Boston Celtics. Star Jimmy Butler missed the entire series with an MCL injury, which served as a reminder of his age and recent injury history. He is almost 35 and hasn't played more than 70 games since 2017.

That makes the recent report of him wanting a 2-year, $113 million extension surprising and possibly uncomfortable for the Heat. The Heat would probably love to have Butler retire in Miami but not while paying him $65 million a year at ages 36 and 37. That has led both ESPN's Zach Lowe and the Athletic's John Hollinger to suggest that the Heat may move on from Butler if they can't agree to a new deal.

Will the Miami Heat trade Jimmy Butler this summer?

Judging by Butler's reported asking price, it seems likely that the two sides may be far apart on an extension and the Heat have a history of playing hard ball in contract negotiations. Heat legend Dwayne Wade and the team failed to agree on a new contract in 2015, resulting in his signing with the Chicago Bulls after 13 years in Miami.

Although Wade would return to Miami to close out his Hall of Fame career, it shows that the team is perfectly fine with letting an aging star go, no matter how much they might mean to the franchise. In Butler's case, that could mean a trade, and the rival Philadelphia Sixers have been linked to him in the event that he becomes available.

A trade involving the Sixers or another team will likely have a lot to do with whether the Heat can add a star such as Donovan Mitchell or Trae Young. If they can, they may try to keep Butler, though if his contract demands don't soften, then they could very well move him and continue on with Bam Adebayo and another star.