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Pat Riley calls out Jimmy Butler for trolling Celtics


Jimmy Butler has taken the Heat to the NBA Finals twice in five seasons, but team president Pat Riley is lukewarm about the 34-year-old’s future with the team.

Speaking for the first time since Miami’s season ended, Riley said Monday that the franchise has to carefully consider whether to sign Butler to a long-term contract extension.

“We don’t have to do that for a year. We have not discussed that internally right now, but we have to look at making that kind of commitment,” Riley told reporters.

Despite the hesitance to sign him long-term, Riley said Butler will not be traded.

While Riley called Butler an “incredible player,” he said that it will “take some “changes” for Butler to be the best player on a championship team, appearing to reference Butler’s availability over the last handful of the seasons. A knee injury kept Butler out of the playoffs this season, and the six-time All-Star has missed over 100 regular season games over the last seven seasons dating back to his first season with the Timberwolves.

MORE: Why Jimmy Butler left the 76ers for Heat in 2019

Butler has been a high-level player since he arrived in Miami, but Riley’s press conference served as a reminder of who is in control of the franchise. The 79-year-old Riley ripped Butler for trolling the Celtics during the Heat’s swift first-round loss, asserting, “If you’re not on the court playing, you should keep your mouth shut.”

Butler claimed the Heat would have won the series if he were healthy, and he trolled the Celtics on Instagram after Miami earned its only win of the series in Game 2.

The Heat have earned a reputation as one of the most well-oiled machines in the NBA, consistently developing quality players and playing competitive basketball even when there is a talent disadvantage, but Riley’s comments are the first hint that not all might be well in Miami.

Butler is under contract through the 2024-25 season with a $52.4 million player option for 2025-26. He’s set to make $48.8 million next season.

Butler wants his contract to be extended from a two-year, $101 million deal into a three-year, $161.7 million deal this offseason, the Miami Herald reported. Such an extension would guarantee his contract through 2027 when he will be 37.

Riley made it clear Monday that availability is Miami’s top concern as it relates to a long-term commitment, and that comes as little surprise. Butler has missed at least 18 regular season games in each of the last four seasons, and that trend typically doesn’t improve when a player enters his mid-to-late 30s. 

Still, the Heat saw how competitive they were against the Eastern Conference’s best without Butler and don’t have a readymade star ready to ascend to that lead role. A lack of an extension “could lead to a disgruntled Butler,” the Miami Herald said. 

MORE: Top 3 potential trade destinations for Brandon Ingram

Here’s a look at Butler’s stats in each of his five seasons with the Heat:

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