Opinion: What next for Jimmy Butler and his Miami Heat after Lebrons’ Lakers defeat?

It looks like the series has changed. Game five, Lebron drives into the paint, the Miami defense floods him, he throws the pass back to an open Danny Green to give the Lakers the lead and finish the series, Green misses the shot and Miami win game five.

Jimmy Butler finishes the game with 35 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds. All pressure is on the Lakers to clinch the series, Miami remain underdogs and there becomes a glimmer of hope that Butler could lift his first allusive Larry O’Brien Championship, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Lebron dominated with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists and Davies backed it with 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Miami pushed the series all along but it wasn’t their time, however for Miami the future is very bright. This Heat team was never meant to compete this year, this was Butler’s first year with the Heat, it was Tyler Herro’s first season in the NBA, Nunn and Adebayo have only been in the league for a few years and Goran Dragic looked to be on the way out of his career at the age of 34.

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But here they were through adversity, through to the finals in the strangest season in the history of the NBA, but it wasn’t meant to be. The romance came to an end through one of the greatest players of all time in Lebron James and the current most dominant player in the game in Anthony Davis.

So where will Miami go from here? As a team that looks so well put together, how can they improve? The priority must be to bring in another superstar. Miami have been very careful with cap space to allow them to bring in a big player in free agency either this year or next year and secondly gaining better roster depth, the Miami players play high minutes, a focus on roster depth would do nothing but benefit the squad.

PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 24: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts after a dunk during the NBA Paris Game match between Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks on January 24, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

So who could Miami bring in? Anthony Davis has a player option, meaning he has the choice to sign again or become a free agent, however having just won the Championship in Miami and with Bam Adebayo playing in the same space as him, that’s not an option. Fred VanFleet would be a good option to replace Dragic as he’s set to leave as a free agent but then again it’s probably not the best use of the cap space.

However, everyone in the NBA knows who Miami want. Next year will see the biggest unrestricted free agent, since Lebron joined Miami in 2010. Miami will do everything in their power to try and lure Giannis Antetokounmpo down to South Beach. Giannis was the regular season MVP this year having averaged 29 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.

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The Greek has always stated he wants to win over anything else and it’s looking like he won’t achieve that in Milwaukee. There are two options, they can either wait till 2021 free agency to bring him in, or they could attempt to try and trade for him now, so Milwaukee don’t lose him without gaining anything in return.

COLLEGE PARK, MD – MARCH 08: Jalen Smith #25 of the Maryland Terrapins takes a foul shot during a college basketball game against the Michigan Wolverines at the Xfinity Center on March 8, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

In regards to squad depth, Miami have the 20th pick in the draft and have been rumoured to be looking at Jalen Smith, a 20 year old power forward from the University of Maryland. The addition of Smith could potentially take some of the burden off both Butler and Crowder assuming he rises to his potential.

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