When it comes to Jimmy Butler potentially playing power forward this season, the Miami Heat’s leading man said Monday that his team had better start considering Plan B.
With power forward P.J. Tucker having left in free agency for the Philadelphia 76ers, and with the Heat not signing an outside replacement, Butler was asked at the team’s media day at FTX Arena if he would be willing to play this season in a power role.
“If they absolutely wanted to have a conversation,” Butler said of relenting to at least listen. “But I’m not going to play the four.”
The Heat’s other options at power forward include Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith, Max Strus, or one of the team’s center types, such as Dewayne Dedmon or Omer Yurtseven, albeit with coach Erik Spoelstra rarely favoring big lineups.
“I could play the four, yes, if they absolutely needed me to play the four, yes,” Butler said.
Of Tucker leaving, Butler said with a smile, “P.J.’s a traitor. I tell him every single day.”
Butler, 33, said the Heat would find a way to make it work without the veteran power forward.
“There are going to be changes,” he said. “Everybody realizes roles are going to change. There are going to be a lot of changes that have nothing to do with me. As training camp comes along, it’s going to be exciting to see what this lineup is about.”
Butler also downplayed offseason workout video showing him spending significant time working on his 3-point game. He stressed that his focus remains getting into the paint and getting to the foul line.
“Scout me however you want,” he said. “I’m still going to find a way to get into the paint.”
Of his offseason shift to a lengthier coif, Butler tried to insist that he hadn’t added extensions. But he also said he did not know if he would continue with the look during the regular season.
“I’m just messing with stuff to make the internet mad,” he said of the long braids he continued to sport Monday.