Good News to Miami Heat: he is back…

Six-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler decided he would play out next season on his existing contract with the Miami Heat and will not sign an extension with them or any other team ahead of his opt-out clause in 2025, league sources briefed on the matter told The Athletic.

His decision to play out next season commits him to Miami and clears up any notion of a trade demand due to the lack of an extension. Butler has an affinity for Miami and has wanted to stay with the Heat, league sources said.

Meanwhile, the Heat have shown no interest in trading Butler, league sources said. Theoretically, they could still trade him this summer if they found a deal that suited them, but Butler’s unwillingness to immediately sign an extension would likely limit the return they would receive for their best player.

Butler, 34, has two seasons remaining on his current maximum contract — $48.8 million in 2024-25 and a player option for 2025-26 worth $52.4 million — and a handful of NBA teams have been closely monitoring his situation ahead of the draft and free agency.

The decision also gives Butler some flexibility. After averaging 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists for the Heat last season, Butler is determined to have a big season in 2024-25, which would help the Heat bounce back from a first-round playoff loss to Boston and position Butler for a bigger payday next summer in Miami or elsewhere.

If he opts out and becomes a free agent next summer, Butler will be eligible for a four-year maximum extension projected to be worth $243 million with his current team or a maximum three-year, $171 million pact elsewhere.

The rules of the collective bargaining agreement limit the Heat’s offering power this summer. Butler’san give Butler an extension this offseason that is worth up to two years and $113 million. By waiting until next summer, he can get more years on a new deal via opting out and free agency.NBA 2023 Draft Prospects |

But Heat president Pat Riley implied at the team’s end-of-season news conference in May that Butler’s lack of availability in recent seasons would play a role in the team’s decision-making process on whether to even offer a new deal to the superstar wing.

Riley did not pull any punches when discussing the Heat’s season and Butler’s long-term future with the team.

“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. We have to look at making that kind of commitment and when do we do it. We don’t have to do it until 2025, actually.”

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