Grade the Trade: Heat retool as Jimmy Butler is sent to Rockets in monster proposal

Grading a bold trade proposal that would have the Miami Heat trading Jimmy Butler this offseason.
Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Grading a bold trade proposal that would have the Miami Heat trading Jimmy Butler to the Houston Rockets this offseason.

It's amazing how quickly situations in the NBA can change. Less than a year ago, the Miami Heat looked like they were one difference-making piece away from winning an NBA Championship. Heading into the NBA Play-In Tournament, the Heat couldn't be in more of a downward spiral. If the Heat loses in the Play-In Tournament or even in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, there could be some big changes coming.

The Heat isn't close to competing for a championship with the way they've played this season and it's hard to imagine how one offseason move changes that. That's why, assuming the Heat suffer an early playoff loss, the Heat will have to consider trading Jimmy Butler this summer.

Why the Miami Heat should consider trading Jimmy Butler

Entering the final year of his contract, if the Heat ever wanted to trade Jimmy, this would be the offseason to do so. If Miami re-signs Jimmy, they're going to have to pay him max money. Miami would be locked in to pay an aging Jimmy money that, in all due respect, he's not worth at this point in his career.

Jimmy is going to be 35 at the start of next season and giving him a three or four-year extension would be outrageous. Perhaps most importantly, it would put the Heat in salary cap hell. But that's exactly what the Heat may have to do to keep him. But if Miami was open to trading Jimmy, it could open so many possibilities heading into the offseason.

One of which that they should strongly consider involves trading Jimmy to a team that is looking to make a strong win-now move. If that move also lines up with the Heat taking a bit of a step back to start building around Bam Adebayo, it's certainly something they should consider. I can't help but wonder if there's one monster trade with the Houston Rockets that could help the Heat accomplish that.

Let's explore this bold proposal between the Heat and Rockets.