Jimmy Butler on Heat Adding Another Star in Free Agency: 'I Think It'll Happen'

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 14, 2020

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler waits between plays during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

Miami Heat president Pat Riley knows how to get star players to South Beach.  

He did it with a trade for Shaquille O'Neal in 2004 and he later helped convince LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join the club in 2010.

Both occasions resulted in a title for Miami. 

So as current Heat star Jimmy Butler looks around the locker room, he knows it won't be long until he's surrounded by even more All-Stars. 

Speaking to ESPN's The Jump Friday, Butler made that much very clear:

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

Sat down with @JimmyButler, who says the Heat can win the title *this* year, "and I don't give a damn what anybody says about that." We also talked about his recent dust-ups with TJ Warren and Chris Paul...Jimmy: "I don't need friends here in the bubble." https://t.co/tCgTFap0iq

"I think it'll happen," Butler said. "Only time will tell. I'm telling you, the organization is really good at getting what they want to win a championship. It's gonna happen. We have all the key pieces. We have shooters. We got the youth. We got the vets. And I think, a little Miami sunshine never hurt anybody."

Aside from O'Neal, James and Bosh, the Heat have also previously landed Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Lamar Odom. Miami has never been shy about making a run at big names, and it appears Riley is setting up to do it again with Butler under contract until 2023. 

According to Spotrac.com, the Heat only have $77.8 million of their 2020-21 salary cap allocated and nine players under contract. Goran Dragic, Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill, Meyers Leonard, Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr. and Udonis Haslem are all currently on expiring deals this season. 

That leaves plenty of room to maneuver in the coming years. 

While the 2020 free-agent class doesn't feature too many headline-grabbing names beyond Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Gordon Hayward and Otto Porter Jr.—each of whom have player options—the class of 2021 has the potential to create a new power balance in the NBA with Miami as attractive a destination as any. 

Among the unrestricted free agents next year, Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gobert, Jrue Holiday, Andre Drummond, Victor Oladipo, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie each present an opportunity for the Heat to upgrade across the floor. 

This year's postseason should provide a good look at where Miami will need to improve most—if at all. 

Butler believes the Heat have a chance to shock the league and pull off a championship despite entering the playoffs as a bit of an underdog as a No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

"I don't care," Butler told ESPN about not being considered a favorite. "I don't care. I don't care. I'm speaking for myself, I don't give a damn what anybody says. I think I can speak for my teammates when I say they don't give a damn either."

Whether they do or not, more help may be on the way.