Three years after being cast off by the Sixers, a scorned Jimmy Butler sent Philly home as the leader of a thriving Heat team.
On Thursday, Miami clinched its second Eastern Conference Finals appearance since Butler signed in 2019. On his way to the locker room, he shouted, “Tobias Harris over me?” After the game, even Joel Embiid questioned why the 76ers let Butler walk for nothing.
While the Sixers question past choices, the Heat won’t be second-guessing Butler, having committed to building their future around their $36 million man.
- Miami extended Butler for four years, $184M last summer.
- He’ll be the highest-paid on the team through 2025-26, when he’ll make $52M.
- Butler is one of two players averaging at least 25 PPG on 50% shooting in the postseason.
- Meanwhile, Philly paid the underachieving Harris $180M over five years.
The Heat have only the NBA’s 10th-highest payroll ($140.8M), but thanks to a combination of smart offseason moves and commitment to continuity, they’re once again legitimate contenders.
But before even thinking about a ring (+450), the Heat will have to go through the Bucks or Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.