Jacari McRae \ Aug 14th, 2019
Last season, the Miami Heat missed the playoffs for the third time in the past five seasons. In order to improve their chances for this upcoming season, the Heat acquired all-star Jimmy Butler in a sign and trade from Philadelphia 76ers. Miami traded Josh Richardson to the 76ers for Butler and also moved Hassan Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers for Meyers Leonard. With Butler in the fold, the Heat are likely to be better.
But by how much?
In a recent column by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, an NBA scout weighed in on the Heat’s chances next season.
“I think Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Boston, Brooklyn and Indiana are clearly better than Miami, and Toronto is modestly better,” the scout said. “I would bet on Miami being a playoff team, a lower seed. If they get to six, it would be a modest surprise. But they could just as well be ninth.”
A four-time all-star, Butler is one of the best two-way stars in this league. Last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and 76ers, Butler averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. During the 2019 NBA playoffs, Butler was the 76ers most consistent player averaging 22 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game against Toronto in Philadelphia’s second-round loss.
But Butler cannot do it alone. To become a serious contender, you need multiple stars. And the Heat understands this. Since acquiring Butler, Miami has been aggressively scouring the market for a second star. A star that has been linked to the Heat for most of the off-season has been Washington Wizards all-star guard Bradley Beal. However, the Wizards are currently not shopping the guard.
Until the Heat acquires another star, the team will head into the new NBA season with its current roster. And if the Heat wants to exceed expectations, they’re going to need more from guys like Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, and others.
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