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Erik Spoelstra says ‘there’s a reason’ Heat chased Jimmy Butler so hard

Erik Spoelstra, Heat, Jimmy Butler

Miami Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra have been enamored with Jimmy Butler over the past few years, which is why both men jumped for joy when Butler decided to sign with the Heat in free agency this past summer.

Butler signed a four-year max contract with Miami as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Spoelstra, who has coached LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and now Butler, says “there’s a reason” the Heat chased Butler so hard.

“There’s a reason why we chased him so hard and backed up the Brinks truck to get a max player,” Spoelstra said, via the Miami Herald. “That’s the idea. We have a guy that we believe can take us to a different level. That’s what he’s doing right now. It’s reflective of our record and the way guys are playing around him and with him.”

The Heat, led by Butler, are 19-8 on the season. They are in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. All signs point toward Butler leading Miami back to the playoffs after they missed it last season.

Butler is averaging 21.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists this season. He’s shooting 43.2 percent from the field, 28.0 percent from beyond the arc and 82.9 percent from the free-throw line.