With the Big Three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade, the Heat aren’t in desperate need of anything. However, Milwaukee Bucks forward Caron Butler appears to be close to signing with the Heat.
Sources told ESPN.com, “Butler is scheduled to complete a contract buyout Wednesday that sets him up to become an unrestricted free agent by the end of the week.” Once Butler clears waivers on Friday, he will be eligible to play in the playoffs with another team. Now the question is where Butler will end up. To no surprise, the Heat are the frontrunners to sign Butler.
Butler spent his first two NBA seasons with the Heat before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. If Butler wants to win another championship, the smart choice for him would be to return to the Heat. Miami always seem to pick up valuable players at a low cost, whether it was Chris Anderson last season or Michael Beasley and Greg Oden in free agency.
If the Heat are able to sign Butler, that would make the Heat even more dangerous to the Indiana Pacers, especially since they traded Danny Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers. Butler would give the Heat someone else who can create their own shot and another three point shooter. He also moves well without the ball, which will benefit any team with LeBron James on it. Butler is an unselfish player, so he won’t have any problems fitting in with the team. Adding Butler to the Heat just makes it even harder for them to be beaten.
The only question that comes to mind when signing Butler is: How much playing time will he receive? A player like Butler who’s used to playing a lot of minutes wouldn’t like sitting on the bench the majority of the game. Maybe he would sacrifice playing time for the Heat because they are the two-time defending champions, but Butler would want to feel like he contributes to the team’s success.
When he was playing with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and the Mavericks went on to win the NBA championship, Butler missed the entire playoffs because of an injury. It will be hard to find valuable minutes for Butler with Ray Allen, Anderson, Beasley and Oden coming off the bench. On the other hand, I could see Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra giving Beasley’s minutes, who’s a sporadic player, to Butler.
No matter how things play out, if Butler is to sign with the Heat, the Heat will be gaining a player who is respectful and a proven winner in this league which will help Miami become a part of NBA history, by being in select company of NBA teams that have won three consecutive NBA titles.