Jimmy Butler Could ‘Widen’ Warriors' Championship Window (2024)

Highlights

  • The Golden State Warriors traded for Buddy Hield after losing Klay Thompson.
  • A Jimmy Butler trade from the Miami Heat to Golden State could potentially widen the Warriors' championship window.
  • Butler's playoff performances over the last few seasons, along with the performances of Curry could be enough to help the Warriors win another title if they were to trade for the six-time All-Star.

Having lost Klay Thompson in free agency, the Golden State Warriors have tried to mitigate that loss by trading for Buddy Hield .

But, coming off the back of a disappointing season whereby they failed to reach the playoffs, and with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green not getting any younger, league insider Mark Medina feels that the Warriors’ championship window could be ‘widened’ if they were to somehow find a way to bring another star onto the team, such as the Miami Heat ’s, Jimmy Butler .

Warriors Entering a New Era

Signed Buddy Hield after losing Klay Thompson

Jimmy Butler Could ‘Widen’ Warriors' Championship Window (3)

Much of the talk in the buildup to free agency was whether the Warriors would re-sign Klay Thompson, or whether he would move on elsewhere after 11 years with the team.

The question was answered very quickly – he was moving on.

In what turned out to be a six-team deal – the first of its kind – Thompson winded up on last season’s NBA Finalists, the Dallas Mavericks , where he will provide some additional three-point shooting to Luka Dončić , Kyrie Irving , and co as they seek to embark on becoming the team to come out of the Western Conference and reach the Finals again next season.

With a gaping hole left in the roster, the Warriors didn’t hang around, and acquired marksman Buddy Hield in a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers just a few days later.

Klay Thompson vs. Buddy Hield - 2023-24 Season Shooting Statistics

Category

Klay Thompson

Buddy Hield

PTS

17.9

12.1

FG%

43.2

43.6

3P%

38.7

38.6

Catch-and-Shoot 3P%

38.1

41.8

Does this put them back into strong playoff contention? Potentially. But, there is still the feeling that there is something missing.

GIVEMESPORT Key Statistic: The Warriors now have the two leaders for most three-pointers made over the last five NBA seasons on the same roster with Steph Curry and Buddy Hield.

Reports have surfaced over the last few weeks that the Warriors are keen on maximizing the championship window of Curry and Green, and the idea of trading for Jimmy Butler from the Heat appears to fit that mold.

The six-time All-Star’s future in Miami has looked uncertain of late in the wake of the team not being willing to give him the max contract extension that he has said that he wants, but giving his younger teammate, Bam Adebayo , one.

While the idea of Butler being dealt to the Warriors, in a deal that would likely require multiple players and picks to be sent to the Heat, is not entirely outlandish, there is the expectation that the 34-year-old will see out next season in Miami, where he can then enter free-agency in 2025 if he decides to decline his $52.4 million player option.

That being said, though, the NBA’s fast pace means no deals can ever be entirely ruled out.

Heat and Warriors Are ‘Beholden’ to Not Giving Up Much in Trade Packages

Medina argues that Butler would certainly be a good fit for the Warriors, but the main obstacle that stands between a possible move is the reluctance, admittedly from both sides, to offer a package that both sides would be happy with.

“It [trading for Butler] certainly could widen it [Warriors’ championship window]. It’s just tough – because what are they going to give up that the Heat want?

As we saw with the Damian Lillard trade sweepstakes, the Miami Heat are very beholden to not giving up too much, even if they don't have enough to make it happen. And I think the Warriors are the same way in that, as much as they want to build around Steph Curry and Draymond Green, they also want to lean in on this young core that they've got with Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski specifically.

So with that, will the Heat really think other players outside of that like Kevon Looney and Andrew Wiggins is enough for that? Who knows? From a basketball standpoint, though, Jimmy Butler would be a great fit.”

What Butler Would Bring to the Warriors

Will to never give up... especially in the post-season

Jimmy Butler Could ‘Widen’ Warriors' Championship Window (6)

Undoubtedly, Butler's five-year stint in Miami has been by far his most successful, having also suited up for the Chicago Bulls , Sixers, and Minnesota Timberwolves throughout his career.

Excluding his first season with the Heat, the 34-year-old has posted four consecutive 20-plus points per game seasons, where this season, he led the team in scoring - tied with Tyler Herro - averaging 20.8 points per contest, though he converted at a greater 49.9 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from behind the arc, compared to Herro's 44.1 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from distance.

Butler would also lead the Heat in assists, averaging 5.0 dishes per game, while he also finished the season with 1.3 steals, the second-most on the team behind Delon Wright, though Butler played 46 games more, playing 60 total on the season.

While he suffered an injury in the Play-In tournament last season against the Sixers which saw him miss the Heat's lone playoff series against the eventual champions Boston Celtics , he has earned the nickname 'Playoff Jimmy' in the past due to finding a third gear that nobody else can quite match when it comes to the post-season.

Jimmy Butler Career Statistics

Category

Miami Heat

Other Teams Played For

PPG

21.3

18.6

RPG

6.1

5.1

APG

5.7

3.9

FG%

49.6

46.1

DRTG

109.7

105.2

In the last two post-seasons which Butler has participated in, 2021-22 and 2022-23, where the Heat went on a historic run to the NBA Finals, in which they were the eighth seed in the East, the six-time All-Star averaged 27.1 points at a 48.4 percent shooting clip, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

These numbers are far improved from his regular season outings, in which he averaged 22.2 points, albeit at a greater 51.1 percent shooting clip from the field in that same span, along with 5.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.7 steals per contest.

With the Warriors having reached the playoffs seven times in the last decade, and winning four championships in that time-frame, they are accustomed to having players who perform well in the post-season, and Butler has shown that he is more than capable, even though he is aging, that he can step up when it really counts too.

But, if he were to somehow wind up on Golden State's roster, then he would have elite-level support around him, particularly from Curry, which could take the team further than he was able to take the Heat, even though they came close to a championship on two occasions, though faltering at the final hurdle.

Not only would a move to Golden State likely widen Curry and Green's window, but it could also provide the best opportunity for Butler to chase his first title, after 13 years in the league. But any deal seems very unlikely at this point.

All statistics courtesy of Statmuse, ESPN, NBA.com and Basketball Reference.

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Jimmy Butler Could ‘Widen’ Warriors' Championship Window (2024)

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