His previous teams have not fared as well without him. Those numbers only spiked as the playoffs dragged on. Mark J. Terrill/AP Images Could he have done that in Chicago? However, Miami didn't have the cap space to sign him outright. Could Butler have replicated Heat's success with Bulls? It’s safe to assume the two didn’t see eye-to-eye, or at the very least, that Simmons and Butler’s leadership styles were dissimilar. He averaged 26.2 points and 9.8 assists per game on 55.2% field goal shooting and 25% usage across six Finals games, and became just the second player in league history to log multiple 40-point triple-doubles in the championship round. Now, the Butler trade wasn't a purely statistical decision. The Heat's success with these later picks and undrafted rookies could help them contend for years to come. The Heat have, in Butler’s own words, allowed him to be himself. Indeed, Butler set career highs in assists per game (6.0), assist rate (28.3%) and free-throw attempts per game (9.1) with the Heat this season. But when you extrapolate beyond the manufactured beef, it becomes clear that other factors contributed to Butler’s departure, and those other factors were probably more important in the end. Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler made the NBA Finals during his first year with the team. That was new. "It was just going to take a little bit more tough love throughout the organization to get there.". But is it even worth relitigating? Subscribe to our daily newsletter to get more of it. Indirect or no, the decision signaled a belief within the Bulls organization that Butler wasn't good enough to build a championship-caliber team around — a belief that appears misguided in retrospect. Jimmy Butler wanted to join the Heat in free agency in 2019. "I do think that the Heat empowered Jimmy Butler in ways that I just don't know if he would have gotten the same treatment in Chicago, obviously he didn't," Haberstroh said. Those four players were among the top six in minutes played for the Heat this season. Bam Adebayo's a point guard. But the Heat threw caution to the wind in signing and trading for him last offseason, and so far, the move has been a rousing success. Dragic was supposed to be a piece that put the Heat, in their first year without James, over the top, adding him to a core of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Can Jimmy successfully lead a franchise, and more importantly, lead a locker room? It leads nowhere important. Having a Hall-of-Fame-caliber coach in Erik Spoelstra doesn't hurt either. Butler couldn't have succeeded to this degree anywhere. Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler | Sixers (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images). First on that list is the Bulls, who sparked the current rebuild by shipping Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Lauri Markkanen on draft night 2017. With that said, a recent report from The Athletic’s Zach Harper brings to light new information about Butler’s exit. The Heat have been underdogs throughout these playoffs and may also be in the Finals.
Why did Jimmy leave?