Miami Heat exceeded expectations with the addition of Jimmy Butler last summer. John Hollinger has a different take on how the Heat should handle this offseason.
“The Heat aren’t a ‘future’ team with a good present thanks to Butler. They’re a ‘now’ team with a good future thanks to Adebayo and Tyler Herro. That distinction makes all the difference in how they approach this offseason.”
The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Finals with two skilled big men surrounded by complimentary role players. Could DeMarcus Cousins pair up with Bam Adebayo for a dominant frontcourt?
Butler had a reputation as a malcontent like Cousins, but Butler appreciates the bluntness of Cousins.
“He [Cousins] don’t care. That’s why if you know him, you love him for him. You’re going to get what you’re going to get. He gonna tell it how it is. That’s why that’s my dog.”
"He don't care! He gonna tell it how it is." - @JimmyButler speaking about his homie @BoogieCousins on Posted Up Podcast with @ChrisBHaynes.— Dunk Bait (@DunkBait) January 29, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/ohUh3hqJJ6 pic.twitter.com/YlAF7uuePX
There won’t be surprises about what to expect since they’re no strangers to each other over the years.
Turns out Cousins has a strong bond with John Calipari and followed him to become one of the Wildcats back in the day.
“DeMarcus Cousins was one of John Calipari’s original one-and-done players at the University of Kentucky. Less than a month after committing to play for Calipari at Memphis in 2009, Cousins followed the coach after Calipari landed the Kentucky job.
“Playing alongside John Wall, Cousins averages 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds in helping Kentucky to the Elite Eight, after which he declared for the 2010 NBA draft. The Sacramento Kings made Cousins the fifth overall pick, and he did not disappoint on the court.”
When healthy Cousins performed at an All-Star level. However experiences with Greg Oden, Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts, Dion Waiters give pause to signing players with injury issues. Especially when healthy alternatives are available.
Only 30 years old, at 6’11” and 270 lbs Cousins gives Miami the size to go against players like Anthony Davis. Whether he’s recovered enough to contribute is another matter. The playoffs gave Miami an opportunity to gauge what’s needed to win it all next time around. As Hollinger pointed out, the Heat are a “now” team.
With Butler and Adebayo as foundation pieces the Heat are legitimate title contenders this upcoming season. To paraphrase Butler the only statistic that matters is wins. Other numbers may look good on paper, but who will Butler want as a teammate to help him reach the very top of the mountain?