ASK IRA: Is Jimmy Butler telling Miami Heat it’s Dame time?

Q: I see Jimmy Butler has been doing the “Dame Time” gesture whenever he gets a chance this summer, with his hand on an imaginary watch when he makes a shot. My questions: Is that his way of expressing his desire for a trade? And is that disrespectful to the player the Heat would have to trade to get Damian Lillard? – Stephen.

A: Sometimes sports are just meant to be fun. And that is what Jimmy Butler seems to be doing with his Dame Time gestures. I wouldn’t read too much into it, be it if you’re taking it as an ultimatum to Pat Riley and the front office, or if you’re taking it as a desire to offload certain players in the current mix. When the clock is on, Jimmy is as serious as any player on the roster, almost Alonzo Mourning-like in his drive. But when the game clock isn’t running, Jimmy enjoys clowning situations and opponents as much as almost any player. As Jimmy said during the playoffs and afterward, he is grateful to ride with the players he was alongside last season. But he also appreciates how one more star could help push him to the championship level that has been elusive these first four playoff-rich seasons with the Heat.

Q: Ira, the Dolphins didn’t give up the house for Jonathan Taylor. Is there a Heat lesson to be learned there? – Edwin.

A: First, while the Colts might have been asking for the house in the deal that didn’t get done for Jonathan Taylor, the Trail Blazers have been asking for the house, the furniture, the cars in the garage and the guest quarters from the Heat when it comes to Damian Lillard. And even then, it’s not as if the Heat necessarily have what Portland wants, as opposed to the Dolphins’ decision with their available draft capital.

Q: How long do you think the Damian Lillard trade saga will go on before Miami just gives up? – Ren, Stuart.

A: It will last until the Trail Blazers come to recognize that what they want is not what they are going to get. But I don’t think the Heat necessarily pull the plug at any point. They still are positioned in their goal to contend. It is the Blazers, with a goal of developing their younger guards, who stand to be more impacted by a protracted waiting game. Every minute given/taken to/by Damian Lillard is a minute taken from one of their young guards.