ASK IRA: Time for Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler to stop talking the talk?

Q: I think the Jimmy Butler thing is only downhill from here. Sometimes you just need to believe the signs. Butler used to pick on Karl-Anthony Towns; Karl-Anthony Towns may win a ring. Butler disses Josh Hart; Hart is balling out while Butler is at home. The Butler mojo likely peaked last season. Best to move on. – Mark.

A: Look, what a player says is ancillary. While Pat Riley might not abide by such tomfoolery (underrated word right there), tomfoolery (so I’ll use it again) is not what wins or loses games. And Pat seemed fine when Jimmy’s bluster was accompanied by playoff success. What has changed is the Heat not only did nothing in the playoffs, but did practically nothing against quality competition during the regular season. The Heat painted a mantra on their court this season – and then did not live up to it. So the real issue is less bluster and babble, more winning.

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Q: Ira, you can talk about good young talent until you are blue in the face, but you also need a star to surround. The Thunder have that in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. – Michael.

A: Because the Thunder had Paul George available, and in his prime, for such a trade in 2019. But to think that Jimmy Butler would bring back such a haul is unreasonable. Paul George had just turned 29 when he went to the Clippers; Jimmy Butler is 34, to turn 35 in September.

Q: If Adam Simon can pick us a couple more winners in the draft, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic keep developing, and we find one young star to pair with Bam Adebayo (say Donovan Mitchell), we’ll be back on top before the lottery protections come off those picks. – John, Ocala.

A: If you are getting a player the ilk of a Donovan Mitchell in a trade, then you probably are dealing away some of the current youth, as well as what meager draft-pick capital the Heat have remaining. The only way your blueprint works is if you can turn some type of packaging involving Tyler Herro, Terry Rozier and Duncan Robinson into such a player. Not sure that is going to deliver you to where you want to get with Adebayo, the current youth and an outside star.