Boston Celtics analyst casts doubt on Jimmy Butler's Heat future

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Boston Celtics analyst Brian Robb of MassLive doesn't see it as a slam dunk that Jimmy Butler is going to receive the max contract he is seeking from the Miami Heat this offseason -- or that he'll even return to South Beach at all in 2024-25.

"Whether he remains in Miami or demands a new home if he can’t get a new contract is an open question," Robb said.

Butler is reportedly looking for a max contract in the offseason and may not get it from a Heat front office that let Max Strus and Gabe Vincent walk a summer ago when the price tag got too high. If there's something Pat Riley won't do, that's tie his cap sheet to aging players whose deals could become albatrosses, or in the case of Strus and Vincent, overpay role players. Few players better represent what Miami is looking for than Caleb Martin, who was signed to a three-year deal at less than $8 million per season.

Boston Celtics analyst not alone in thinking on Jimmy Butler -- Miami host believes his era with Heat is over too

Dan LeBatard sees the Butler window as closed and similarly implied that a trade of the Heat's pillar star could be on the horizon after a five-game gentlemen's sweep by the hands of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, following an eighth-place finish in the east a second straight season.

“When you’ve got two straight seasons as the equivalent of the eight-seed and then the top of the conference gets so much better than what you’re presently offering," LeBatard said (h/t “The Butler window just closed, and you’ve got to see that if you’re the organization two years faster than I can see it. The Celtics just ended the Heat as we know them.”

All good things must come to an end, and for Heat fans, that likely means the Butler era in South Beach. Of course, if Boston just had the run Miami had with Jimmy Buckets, he'd be seen as a choke artist who couldn't win the big one, like Jayson Tatum is often labeled as.

But as is, Butler will go down as a "Heat Culture" legend if/when he departs for his fifth NBA team this offseason.