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Jimmy Butler: ‘I don’t play the four’

He was smiling, though.

NBA: Miami Heat-Media Day Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat fans who hoped that Erik Spoelstra would start his five best players — which would slide Jimmy Butler to the power forward position — may have been disappointed when the six-time All-Star said, “I don’t play the four” during media day.

Now, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald noted that Butler was smiling. Longtime Heat fans may remember that Chris Bosh did not want to play center when he first joined Miami. But during the Heat’s 2012 championship run, the team was best with LeBron James at the four and Bosh at the five.

This iteration of the Heat would also maximize its roster with Butler at the four. Surround him with Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and two of Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and Max Strus — that’s your best lineup. Jae Crowder and P.J. Tucker were both great small-ball fours earlier in the Butler era. Unfortunately, no one currently on the Heat can fill that role.

Of course, playing Butler at the four may be something Spoelstra goes too more in the playoffs than during the 82-game slog of the regular season. Caleb Martin said that he’d love to start at power forward today.

The Heat will also look to Haywood Highsmith and maybe even Darius Days, who is on a two-way contract, to soak up minutes at the four.