Jimmy Butler Fantasy Outlook & Value 2019-2020

After a wild season that saw Jimmy Butler explode on his Timberwolves teammates before getting shipped to Philly, Butler now finds himself with the Miami Heat to open the season. He decision to depart Philly after a brutal second round exit at the hands of the Raptors was interesting, as it felt like the Sixers would be a contender for years to come. Still, Butler is now the undisputed alpha on the Heat, which might be the thing he actually wanted most. Regardless of his intentions, Butler will now be tasked with leading a relatively average supporting cast back into the playoffs. Despite his talent, there appears to be some doubt around the league in his ability to do so.

The Heat have seemingly been stuck in mediocrity for a couple years now, so getting Jimmy Butler was a win they needed. Still, the Heat could be in for an interesting surprise with Butler. He’s a great talent, but his fiery personality has led to some conflicts between him and his teammates. For a Heat team that will likely count on some of their young players to step up, adding Butler to the equation may produce some unexpected results. The Heat would still likely need another star and maybe even more to be considered an actual threat in the east. Still, Butler is a guy who can take over the Heat offense and is one of the best at closing out games. Whether that’ll be enough to push the Heat up a tier remains to be seen.

Jimmy Butler Fantasy Stats

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6533.618.75.34.946.285.534.71.90.61.537.1

Upside

Jimmy Butler is one of the best isolation scorers in the league, and he’s a guy who’s not afraid to take the final shot. The last time he was the undisputed first option on the team was in Chicago 3 years ago, and he averaged a career high 23.9 points then. He’ll once again get the chance to run his own show, only now he’ll get the benefit of playing with one of the better coaches in the league in Erik Spoelstra. If Spoelstra can get a little something extra from Butler, we could wind up seeing Butler putting up career best numbers. Butler’s ceiling is a season where he averages 25 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals a game.

Floor

Butler played with coach Tom Thibodeau for a large portion of his career, and as a result, has racked up lots of mileage. Butler’s routinely been among league leaders for minutes played a game, and considering he’ll be 30 entering this season, there should be concern. All those minutes catching up to him soon is a possibility the Heat must consider. There’s also the problem that Butler hasn’t been the easiest guy to play with. Although things seemed to be fine with the Sixers, there were some pretty major issues in both Chicago and Minnesota. For as talented as Jimmy is, his habit of creating locker room issues has turned him off from certain teams. If everything goes wrong, a season where Butler uses more energy fighting his teammates than actually playing their opponents is possible. His floor is a 19 point per game, 6 rebound per game, 4 assist per game, and 1.5 steal per game season.

What to Expect

miami heatButler is currently ranked as the 4th best shooting guard and the 19th best player overall. He’s expected to be drafted in the 2nd round and has an auction value of $35. This might be a tad too expensive for Butler. He’s a premier talent no doubt and would seem to profile as a worthy sidekick for your fantasy team. But they’re just seems to be a little too many questions about him. He’s an extremely volatile player and may be seeing a decline soon. It’s not the worst idea to pick him up, just know there’s some risks with drafting him.

The Heat will likely try to fight for a lower seed in the east this season. Although it’s possible a trade to bring in a star will occur, or that one of the Heat’s youngsters break out, expectations should be tempered. They should have a leg up on some of the teams in their tier, so predicting somewhere from a 6 to 8 seed seems pretty safe. Whether Butler is truly committed to the Heat for the long haul is something we’ll have to wait and see, but it’s probable he’ll be with the team for at least this year. I foresee a scenario where Butler has some clashes with Spoelstra and his teammates early on, but eventually gets handed the reins for team’s offense. I predict a season where he averages 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.5 steals a game, while staying relatively healthy.

  
Despite being born in Orange County growing up as a die hard Lakers fan, his fandom is pretty diverse and extends as far as Syracuse University. Aside from sports journalism and analytics, he’s passionate about video games and critiquing movies. Eventual goals include ownership of the entire NBA and NFL.

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