If there is one aspect of the Miami Heat's offseason that seems to be in question, it would have to be the situation regarding their main star in Jimmy Butler. As the two sides continue to go through possibilities of a contract extension, there are also rumors and more likely speculation of a possible reunion with the Philadelphia 76ers if Butler were to be traded.

However, those conversations could be dead in the water according to a report from Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer who wrote a piece covering the different stars that could find a new home in Philadelphia alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. He would mention Butler as he still shares a close relationship with Embiid since their time with the 76ers, but he expressed that league executives “are of the mind” that Butler stays a member of the Heat.

“A far murkier dynamic is that of Jimmy Butler, who’s extension eligible in Miami,” Fischer wrote. “The Sixers, of course, have been in the Butler business before. He and Embiid maintained a close relationship, and Butler may have been the All-Star whom [Daryl] Morey most often attempted to acquire in Houston, sources said. At this juncture, however, league executives are of the mind Butler will most likely remain with the Heat.”

Tension between Butler and the Heat regarding contract extension?

 Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) hugs Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) on the court after a 76ers victory in a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The conversations of a possible split between Butler and Miami started when it was reported by Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald that the star is seeking a new extension that is two-years worth $113 million. It was later amplified when Heat president Pat Riley held his end of season press conference and was non-committal in obliging the 34-year old if he were to request a contract extension.

“Well, you know, we don't have to do that for a year and so we have not discussed that internally right now but we have to look at that and then making that kind of commitment,” Riley said. “Okay. And when do we do it? We don't have to do it until 25 actually, but we'll see. We haven't made a decision on it. And we really haven't really in earnest. discussed it. So we'll see what happens.”

Riley focusing on player availability heading into Heat offseason

One would think it is an easy decision to give Butler all the money he wants since he brought the Heat to two NBA Finals appearances and an immense amount of success, but player availability has been worrying. He played in 60 games last season, four less than the year prior, as Riley expressed that they would have to ponder in committing “those kinds of resources” unless they can play “every single night.”

“Well, I mean, if you request we can either accept or we can say we're going to think about it,” Riley said. “We've not made a decision on it and I think you can make too much out of this. You still got two years left on the contract. Theoretically he's got a player option. But that's something that we have to give some real thought to based on a lot of factors. I don't want to go through the litany of factors right now because they all go up into different hypotheticals, but yeah, that's a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources unless your somebody who's really going to be there and available every single night, that's the truth.”

Riley telling Butler to “keep your mouth shut” after boastful comments

On top of the tension there about the contract extension, there was another point in the press conference where Riley called out Butler for his boastful comments made about the Heat's chances in the playoffs. He would say in a video that if he was healthy, Miami would have beat the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks.

“If I was playing, Boston would be at home,” Butler said. “New York damn sure would be f–king at home. F–k that mean to me? Josh Hart? C’mon man,” said Butler, a six-time All-Star who played for Thibodeau with the Bulls and Timberwolves. “I love Thibs, but I don’t want Thibs. Thibs, I love you baby, but I want to beat you to a pulp. You want me. I don’t want you. It’s like a one-sided relationship. You in love with me and I love you but I’m not in love with you, you know what I’m saying.”

Butler suffered from an MCL sprain in the team's first play-in tournament game against the 76ers which knocked him out for the rest of the Heat's postseason run as they were eliminated in five games by the Celtics. When Riley was asked for his comments on that, he would say for Butler to “keep your mouth shut.”

“For him to say that, you know, I thought, is that Jimmy trolling? Or is that Jimmy serious?,” Riley said. “If you're not on the court, playing against Boston, or on the court playing against the New York Knicks, you should keep your mouth shut and the criticism of those teams.”

Riley says Butler “moves the needle the most” on Heat

While people were heavily focusing on those specific Riley comments, he also spent a good portion talking about how much Butler has given to the organization up until the present. He would even say that when it comes to the player that “moves the needle the most” for the Heat, it is Butler as he averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 49.9 percent from the field last season.

“Who moves the needle the most on our team is Jimmy,” Riley said. “Jimmy moves the needle the most. He’s an incredible player. What I said at the beginning about change is he’s got to give it some thought himself for this team to be what he wants it to be and what I want it to be, and [owner] Micky [Arison] and everybody else. This five-year window, we’ve been pretty successful. We haven’t won the chip, and I think that bothers everybody.”

Butler said “I feel at home” when talking about Miami

Butler has not at all responded to Riley's comments whether it be through an interview or a post on one of his social media pages as of this very moment. He did do an interview with GQ Sports after the season ended and continuously praised the city of Miami.

“I feel at home, man. I really care about the city, I really care about the people in this city. Miami has embraced me,” Butler said. “They’ve wanted me to bring them something they haven’t done since LeBron, D-Wade and C-Bosh. And I want to do that. So as soon as I get this knee back right, I’m right back on they ass and everybody know it.”

It will be fascinating to see what the Heat decide to do with Butler as he comes eligible for an extension on July 7, plus the team has to prepare for the draft and bolster the team around their main stars. They are trying to improve after another eighth place finish with an 46-36 record.