Five-time NBA All Star Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat have agreed to a four-year, $184 million extension, his agent Bernie Lee told ESPN. Butler, who signed with the Heat in 2019, has been the face of the franchise since arriving to South Beach.
"Jimmy is the anchor and face of our franchise along with Bam [Adebayo] and Kyle [Lowry]," Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement, per ESPN. "With Jimmy, we get an All-NBA player, an All-NBA Defensive player, tough as nails and a complete player across the board.
He's very deserving of this contract as he continually puts himself at the top of the league at his position. Having him in the HEAT organization has been a great, great coup for us." In his first season with the Heat, Butler led his team to the NBA Finals appearance.
Butler pushed himself hard throughout the 2019/2020 season and he started this past season on minutes restriction. "He's not going to be playing the kind of minutes, regardless, that he was playing when he was in his early 20s," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said prior to this past season.
"We were already adjusting that last year during the regular season, pre-bubble. I understand how much energy, physical and mental and emotional energy that he expended during that bubble run, but I tell him all the time: This is the life you chose.
Ultimately, this is what you wanted, is to be a part of these kind of teams that play deep into the playoffs."
Butler and Co. got a much-needed rest this summer
Two months after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, the Heat kicked off their 2020/2021 season.
Following a first round exit in the playoffs, the Heat players were given an extended break. "We've been at this for a while, so where we're headed first is rest," Riley said in early-June. "Our players, our staff, the people that have been here every day, every single day, they're mentally worn out more so than physically.
And I think they just need to rest for a couple of weeks, a month." After a first round loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Heat head coach Spoelstra acknowledged the members of the Heat organization were not "total lunatics."
"We're not total lunatics," Spoelstra said after the series against Milwaukee ended. "We'll give them a little bit of time off. That's the way this season has been. It's been so hard for everybody in this association.
I didn't realize what month it was. I didn't realize it was Memorial Day weekend, and when I brought that up several players and staff members were right there with me. It's been that kind of year."