After acquiring Kevin Durant in 2016, the Golden State Warriors participated in the following three NBA Finals. They might now enter the contest in hopes of finding a different star who could assist them reach the dream land.

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler Explains His 'Emo' Look For Media Day

Jimmy Butler’s $146 million deal with the Miami Heat has two years left on it, plus a player option for 2025–2026. But this summer, the franchise has the option to sign its best player to a $113 million, two-year extension.

After five years in Miami, Butler—who is 34 years old—only ever participated in more over 60 regular season games due to injury concerns in the later stages of his career. Regardless of what team president Pat Riley has recently said about not wanting to consider dealing his best player, Butler becomes a likely trade chip this summer or ahead of the in-season deadline if the Heat don’t want to extend him and know he will leave in free agency next summer without a new contract.

On Friday, May 31, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report called Golden State Butler’s “surprise landing spot” should he formally become available.

As they attempt to wring one more championship out of the Stephen Curry era, the Golden State Warriors ought to be proactive in their chase of win-now players. Riley and Co. should be willing to consider a deal if it revolves around Andrew Wiggins’ salary, young talent (Jonathan Kuminga, Brandin Podziemski, Moses Moody, etc.), and/or draft compensation.

During the regular season, a core of Curry, Butler, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson (free agent) might find it difficult to remain fit and motivated, but facing this bunch in the playoffs would be a nightmare.

The Warriors would lose young talent on cheap contracts and/or future draft picks that provide the similar benefit if they sign Butler, as Swartz pointed out. Put another way, pursuing the Heat forward puts an end to any chance of a protracted rebuild following Curry’s ultimate exit from Golden State—whether by retirement or some other route.

However, it might also help the Warriors become genuinely competitive in a Western Conference that is brimming with young, exciting players. The Dubs’ best chance of winning another championship is to reach that point before clubs like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder develop their rosters and players to the fullest extent possible.

Over the previous five seasons, Butler has been the primary architect of two trips to the NBA Finals and three runs to the Miami Eastern Conference Finals. The squad was defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers (4-2) in 2020 and the Denver Nuggets (4-1) in 2023 in their respective attempts to win a ring.

But Butler complements Green’s toughness and persistence admirably, and he plays clutch in crunch time much like Curry does. Butler’s occasionally explosive leadership style and attitude could be just what the Warriors need to spur them on to one last run at a championship throughout the next several years.

The Athletic’s Anthony Slater revealed the day before that Swartz shared his theory that Butler might end up in Golden State, saying the team would be open to a trade for the forward should the chance arise.

Slater noted, “I would expect the Warriors to enter the conversation to some degree if the Heat shop Jimmy Butler.”

According to Basketball Reference, Butler played 34 minutes a game last season and averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5 assists.

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