During an appearance on The Artist and The Athlete podcast, Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler shared some sentimental information that is sure to set some free agency rumors ablaze. When asked who his favorite person to play against in the league was, Butler said Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, but not because of the challenging matchup he poses when he's on the floor.
"He's one of my absolute best friends," Butler said. "He's the godfather of my daughter. And it's just like as competitive as it is, we're always laughing, we're always joking around. I would say something else, but then the NBA is going to look at this and be like, 'Oh my god, he's tampering.'"
After Butler shared that information about Lowry, host Lindsay Czarniak said "Maybe he needs some sunshine, maybe he needs some Miami sunshine." To which Butler responded, "You said that, I didn't say that."
Insert all the side-eye emojis. The Heat have long been interested in getting Lowry on their team and made a serious push to land the NBA champion at the trade deadline in March. With the Raptors focusing on their long-term future centered around their younger players like Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, Lowry's days in Toronto have been numbered. In the final hour before the trade deadline, Miami was in a bidding war with the Los Angeles Lakers for Lowry.
Ultimately, the Raptors opted to keep Lowry instead of dealing him to Miami or L.A., likely unsatisfied with the packages they would get in return. But the Heat will get another opportunity to land who Butler refers to as one of his "absolute best friends" as soon as this offseason as the six-time All-Star is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. There will certainly be some competition to land Lowry, as several teams will be vying to add his veteran leadership and championship experience to their roster, but Miami has the advantage of Butler being on its team.
If Butler and Lowry are as close as the Heat star says they are, then perhaps he will be able to persuade his buddy to join him down in South Beach.