Knicks ‘have an eye’ on sweepstakes for Heat star

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers, knicks
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are presumed to be in search of adding another superstar talent to play alongside Jalen Brunson. With no shortage of assets, the Knicks have plenty of options, including Miami Heat F Jimmy Butler, who now enters the fray as a potential trade candidate.

Butler Could be on the Trade Block

Butler’s Heat recently bowed out in five games to the eventual champion Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs after finishing as the 8th seed in the East for the second season in a row. Butler did not appear in the series after suffering a sprained MCL during the Play-In Tournament.

Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) controls the ball against Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Butler Called Out the Knicks After Their Elimination

Shortly after the defeat, Butler publicly lambasted his Eastern Conference rivals. Claiming that had he been able to play, “Boston would be at home, New York damn sure would be at home.”

The Knicks Remain Interested in Jimmy’s Services

Per Marc Berman of The Palm Beach Post, despite his remarks, the Knicks have taken up an interest in getting in on the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes.

“Butler had boasted the Heat would’ve sent the Knicks home had Miami faced them in the playoffs. Ironically, the Knicks reportedly have an eye on the potential Butler Sweepstakes,” said Berman.

Butler and Pat Riley Could be Fueding

The trade rumors surrounding the 34-year-old stem from Miami Heat President Pat Riley’s reaction to Butler’s controversial comments. Following a disappointing season for the Heat just one year removed from an appearance in the NBA Finals, Riley was miffed by the remarks made by his franchise player.

“For him to say that, I thought, ‘is that Jimmy trolling? Or is that Jimmy serious,’” Riley told reporters. “If you’re not on the court playing… should keep your mouth shut.”

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The tension between Butler and Miami Heat management has convinced many executives around the league that the six-time All-Star will be available via trade this offseason. Butler could potentially make sense for a Knicks team in need of another scoring option.

The Knicks Could Use Another Perennial All-Star

In 60 games last season, Butler averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He shot 49% from the field and shot a career-high 41% from three-point range. The 34-year-old has a knack for stepping his game up in the playoffs. Dubbed “Playoff Jimmy,” Butler has averaged 24.7 points per game in four playoff runs with the Heat, considerably higher than his mark of 21.3 points per game over the course of five regular seasons in Miami.

Butler’s scoring ability could work wonders alongside Jalen Brunson, and the pairing would give the Knicks two of the league’s best playoff performers. Additionally, Butler has plenty of chemistry with Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, playing for Thibodeau as a member of the Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Timberwolves. In for an aggressive offseason, the Knicks will monitor the situation in Miami as they continue their search for the player that will take them to the next level.

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