The NBA’s balance of power underwent seismic shifts over the
course of a monumental 2019 offseason, and your Miami HEAT
were right in the thick of retooling their club for a run at the
Eastern Conference crown and NBA Championship. With the
retirement of franchise icon Dwyane Wade, the torch has been
passed to the next generation with a new leader in four-time-
All-Star Jimmy Butler, acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in a
blockbuster four-team trade.
With Butler, a two-way force who has averaged 16.8 points for
his career — 21.2 points since the 2014-15 season (the fi rst of
his four-consecutive NBA All-Star seasons), the HEAT have
acquired a player with a track record of big-time shot making
and dogged defense on the perimeter. In addition to his
All-NBA accolades, Butler has made four NBA All-Defensive
Teams prior to joining Miami and is slated to fi t right in to a
club that has always preached defense fi rst.
“To tell you the truth, it’s the culture that I hear about
all the time,” Butler said during his introductory press
conference. “The work that you put in every single day,
the winning habits, the winning ways. Who wouldn’t
want to be a part of that? I was excited to have an
opportunity to come here, to be here. But when I kept
hearing about this culture, I was like, ‘I need that in
Along with Butler, the HEAT acquired veteran big man
Meyers Leonard, who spent the fi rst seven seasons of his
career with the Portland Trailblazers. Leonard is a career 39
percent three-point shooter, among the best in league history
for players seven feet and taller.
“I know that I can impact the game every night,” said Lenoard.
“And I’m vastly improved compared to earlier in my career when
I was younger. The easiest way to put it is I feel really good
about where I’m at. And I’m just excited for this new opportunity.
The HEAT saw something in me and I really appreciate it.”
In addition to their July trade, Miami acquired new talent in the
NBA Draft and in the G League pool. Miami selected guard Tyler
Herro out of Kentucky with the 13th pick in the NBA Draft and
traded up to the 32nd pick to take Stanford forward KZ Okpala.
Joining the two are two-way contract players Chris Silva, a big
man out of South Carolina and Daryl Macon, a guard out of
Arkansas. HEAT and their G-League affi liate Sioux Falls Sky-