Q: Good thing Heat didn’t deal for Jimmy Butler, who has now texted his coach, whining about his role in the 76ers‘ offense. It’s the third team that Butler is not happy with. Could it just possibly be that he is a chronic malcontent whose real talent is for complaining? — Tom, Minneapolis.
Q: Ira, with Jimmy Butler now having issues with Philly do the Heat have a second chance to get him? Butler and the 76ers were a weird fit to begin with considering he wanted to be the No. 1 option. I think Wayne Ellington, Dion Waiters or Kelly Olynyk, and either Rodney McGruder or a second round pick could get a deal done. Butler’s trade value is probably much lower now. — Patrick, Issaquah, Wash.
A: I paired these questions together to show how the views on Jimmy Butler are as divergent now as they were when Heat fans debated fair value in a possible trade with the Timberwolves before Minnesota ultimately dealt him to Philadelphia. First, I can’t see the 76ers moving Jimmy, based on what they gave up to the Timberwolves in Dario Saric and Robert Covington. But it also would have likely played out far differently had Jimmy landed with the Heat, considering the lack of an alpha similar to what the 76ers have in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The reality is Jimmy might be only the third-best player in Philadelphia, something that assuredly would not have been the case with the Heat. All of that said, the Heat remain without the requisite cap space this summer to bid for Jimmy should he hit free agency, which still seems unlikely.
Q; How can Erik Spoelstra just stand on the sideline, watching guys play with little to no energy, and not even attempt to put Dion Waiters in the game? Erik Spoelstra’s decisions with the rotation are beyond frustrating. — Skyler, Tallahassee.
A: And it probably is frustrating to Spoelstra, as well, having so many similar pieces to sort out. It sort of is no win. Can you imagine the outrage if Dwyane Wade were to be benched during this retirement tour? Or if the Heat were to sit $19 million Tyler Johnson? Or if they put the development of Derrick Jones Jr. on hold? As it is, Spoelstra is sitting a player who last season set an NBA record for 3-pointers by a reserve, in Wayne Ellington. The Heat opted to stand pat and again wound up with a lot of the same, which likely does not come as any consolation to Dion.
Q: Do you think the Heat can pry a first-round pick from someone looking for a man with a golden arm? — Smitty, Washington.
A: I doubt Wayne Ellington could get you such currency, with a second-round pick more likely, if even that, considering the ultimate goal of such a deal for the Heat could simply be gaining luxury-tax relief.
For daily Heat mailbag go to sun-sentinel.com/askira