Even Butler, who sometimes seems to actually enjoy crea…

Even Butler, who sometimes seems to actually enjoy creating conflict on his team, wondered whether this was a breaking point, sources said. Two days later, after Spoelstra missed a game because of an unrelated personal matter, he returned, reset and ready. Butler was relieved, so was the rest of the team, and everyone started over, because at the end of the day and the end of the season, Butler is worth it. What he brings, especially in a playoff setting, buys him more leeway. It’s the NBA way — always has been, and always will be. It’s a little tougher at times for the Heat, an organization that thrives on holding players to high standards and not being afraid to attack problems, but it’s true just the same.
More HoopsHype Rumors
June 27, 2022 | 11:25 am EDT Update
The belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone and the Seven-Eleven Era is over before it ever began. Irving only appeared in 103 regular-season games in Brooklyn, a three-year run ravaged in Year 1 by a nagging shoulder injury; in Year 2 due to absences for personal reasons; and in Year 3 due to Irving’s unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a city that didn’t create a professional athlete exemption in its vaccine mandate until weeks before the NBA playoffs began.
Irving reportedly has six teams on his radar: the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, 76ers and Mavericks. A Durant and Westbrook reunion in Brooklyn remains unlikely, according to a source. The Knicks, Mavericks and Heat are the teams that have the biggest capacity to pull off a deal for Irving, but the Knicks and Mavericks appear to be in a bidding war over free agent guard Jalen Brunson.
June 27, 2022 | 11:03 am EDT Update

Malik Monk open to accepting less money to stay with Lakers

Malik Monk said he’d consider accepting less money than his market price to stay with the Lakers for the taxpayer midlevel exception. “They might not be able to pay me as much as I want,” he said. “But I could be here and be way more comfortable as a Laker than going to any other team (that would pay) me $5 million more. So it’s just me trying to figure out what team would really want me.”