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Should The Miami Heat Prioritize Moving On From Jimmy Butler?

The question weighing on Miami Heat team president Pat Riley is: should the team prioritize their future or continue contention with star Jimmy Butler at the helm?

Butler, who turns 35 in September, is seeking a maximum two-year extension this summer, whether it’s with the Heat or elsewhere. An additional two years would place the forward under contract until the end of the 2028 season, or age 39. The odds are heavily stacked against Butler still thriving at the time, potentially ruining the Heat’s chances of success for a multi-year span.

Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes believes this is exactly why moving on from Butler is the Heat’s No. 1 priority this summer.

“Jimmy Butler is the reason the Miami Heat have made two Finals appearances in the last five years. That’s worth appreciating, but it can’t overshadow what should be a clear emphasis on the team’s next half-decade,” Hughes wrote. “The six-time All-Star, who will turn 35 before next season starts, probably shouldn’t figure in the Heat’s planning for 2024-25 and beyond.”

The return for Butler would not result in equal value but could set the stage for a prominent future. Co-stars Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro cannot compete on their own, as shown in the Round 1 series against the eventual-champion Boston Celtics. Ultimately, Riley must make the decision soon, or the Heat could find themselves in one of the league’s most unfortunate situations.

Anthony Pasciolla works as a contributing writer to Inside the Heat. He can be reached at ampasciolla@gmail.com or follow him on X @AnthonyPasci.

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