Tuesday, June 25, 2024
spot_img

Jimmy Butler drives Lakers trade buzz watching Cameron Brink, Sparks: ’22 looks good in purple and gold’

Jimmy Butler has found himself the subject of trade rumors this offseason after a disappointing year for the Miami Heat. Butler missed Miami’s first-round loss to the Boston Celtics due to a knee injury, and he has not played more than 64 games in any of his five seasons with the Heat. When asked about a potential contract extension this offseason, Heat president Pat Riley said that Butler’s injuries would be a factor in deciding whether or not to pay him. “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,” Riley said.

Butler reportedly wants a two-year, max extension. The Heat, thus far, have not appeared willing to give it to him. Other teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers, reportedly would. This has driven speculation about a possible trade. Butler could land with a team willing to pay him now, while the Heat could recoup assets that they could later direct towards a younger, healthier star that better aligns with the timeline of their other All-Star, Bam Adebayo.

Butler hasn’t commented officially on the rumors, but he did make waves while watching the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday. Sparks rookie Cameron Brink has said that Butler is her favorite NBA player to watch, and Butler attended Friday’s game to support her. On the broadcast, he was asked about how he was spending his offseason. 

“Doing a lot of stuff he probably shouldn’t be doing,” Butler quipped. He added that he would be spending a lot of time in Los Angeles before turning his attention to Brink, specifically. “For some reason, 22 just looks good in purple and gold.”

Another well-known basketball team in Los Angeles also happens to wear purple and gold: the Lakers. Butler wears No. 22 for the Heat. It’s not exactly hard to put two and two together and see that he was hinting, whether seriously or jokingly, at how he might fit with the Lakers. Unfortunately for Butler, No. 22 is off limits to all Lakers. It was last worn by team legend Elgin Baylor and has since been retired.

The No. 23 jersey he wore with the Timberwolves and 76ers has been claimed by LeBron James, but if he is willing to wear a different number (perhaps No. 21, which he wore with the Bulls and is currently worn by Maxwell Lewis, a rookie last season who may be open to a swap), there is an obvious fit for Butler on the Lakers. They have reportedly been aggressive on the trade market this offseason, with three first-round picks to trade and a clear need for a two-way wing. Butler obviously fits the bill.

Of course, the Lakers would be going all in on the present if they gave up their picks for the soon-to-be 35-year-old Butler. They would also have to give up a ton of depth just to match salary on Butler’s $48.8 million cap figure. For those reasons, such a deal would be unlikely, but the message here is hard to miss. Butler is keeping an eye on other teams. He wants that extension, and if the Heat aren’t prepared to give it to him, he’s willing to look around at other teams that might.

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.