The Miami Heat are Jimmy Butler’s new preferred trade destination, according to Marc Stein. The Heat have been aggressively pursuing Butler, but this is the first time it has been reported Butler wanted to be somewhere other than the three teams on his wishlist: Knicks, Nets, and Clippers.
Of course, this should be setting off panic alarms for the two teams in New York and the Clippers. All three teams have long suffered from irrelevance, and now just a week after things were starting to look up, things are tumbling down again.
If Butler is now saying Miami is his preferred trade destination, it has to mean he has aspirations to be there in the long term.
If the Heat are able to get this deal done, not only will Butler be walking into South Beach satisfied, he will be walking into a championship organization run by Pat Riley. That is not a situation that would be easy to walk away from barring anything disastrous occurring.
This puts the Clippers, Knicks, and Nets in an undesirable situation. If they do not ramp up the offerings for Butler, they would be taking the great risk of him landing in Miami and re-signing there in the summer. However, if one of the three teams are able to make a deal, they now could become just a rental home for a player that has already changed his mind where he would like to be.