By Tommy Matthews

At age 34, Jimmy Bugler averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5 assists a game and was central to all things Miami — when he was available.

He played in 60 games but was out for the Heat’s first-round series against the Celtics, which Boston took in five games.

Butler — who has two years and $101.2 million left on his current contract, the second year of which is a player option — is eligible for a two-year, $113 million extension this summer.

Butler wants it, other teams are watching to see if the Heat offer it and, if not, does that lead to the Heat exploring trade options? Shams Charania of The Athletic talked about it on a recent episode of The Pat McAfee Show.

“My sense is Jimmy Butler does not want to be anywhere but Miami. My sense is that he loves it in Miami. But again, he is extension-eligible this year. There are multiple teams out there that would give him an extension, and I think this is something that we’ll see play out over the next month or so. The Heat don’t want to trade him; he wants an extension. Will they give him an extension? That’s the question.”

Pat Riley said after the Heat were eliminated the front office hadn’t discussed an extension internally, but added what was clearly a message to Butler.

“That’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources unless you have somebody who’s going to be there and available every single night,” Riley said.

“That’s the truth.”

For the Sixers front office, with plenty of cap space and a desire to find an elite wing to put between Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, this is a situation worth monitoring.

The 76ers are not alone, other teams looking to add a win-now star are monitoring what is happening in Miami.


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