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At previous stops, the issue was Jimmy Butler trying to force his way out. This time, it could be about a desire to stay locked in.

Eligible for an extension this offseason from the Miami Heat, Butler not only appears willing, but likely will seek the maximum-allowed four years.

In the wake of an uneven finish, with his productivity decidedly down as the Heat were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks, it could provide Butler-like drama this offseason.

In a league where the maximum is the assumed extension, Butler’s can be for four years at $181 million, starting in 2022-23, when he would be 33. It would continue through an age range when the Heat previously had contractual doubts about Dwyane Wade.

The four-year, $141 million contract Butler signed to join the Heat in 2019 free agency includes a guaranteed $36 million next season and then a $37.7 million player option in 2022-23. By rule, he can extend this offseason with a deal that would replace his 2022-23 option and run for four years starting with that season.

Such an extension would have Butler under contract through 2025-26, a season when he would be 36, running the same length as the extension signed by Heat center Bam Adebayo in November. The math in that case would have Adebayo earning $37 million in 2025-26, Butler at $50.3 that season, according to the breakdown by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the former Nets executive.

Following Saturday’s season-ending loss to the Bucks, Butler was asked if he planned to take an active role in the direction of the roster, with the Heat with the option of charting their next five seasons with Butler and Adebayo as the enduring foundation.

“I don’t know. I’ve got to be active,” he said. “Me, myself, Bam, hell probably Tyler [Herro], some other guys, as well. They’re going to ask and we have to be honest.

“But, at the end of the day, that’s not our job, either. Whoever we get the opportunity to play with, we’ve got to go out there and compete.”

Butler and most of the components of this season’s roster helped lead the Heat to the Eastern Conference title and within two victories of the 2020 NBA title, when the league completed its postseason in the pandemic quarantine-bubble setting at Disney World. This season marks the first time a Butler team has failed to win at least one playoff game since his 2015-16 Chicago Bulls failed to make the playoffs.

“You go to war with any and everybody you have,” he said of this season. “You hope for the best, you go out there and you can compete. We can be better. We’ll get better.

“But I’m grateful for the opportunity to play with all the guys that I played with this year. I say thank you to each and every one of them, just for being in the trenches, competing with me and for me. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

It was a season like no other in Butler’s 10-year career, including missing 10 games due to NBA pandemic protocols, absences that contributed to the Heat’s No. 6 playoff seed and unfavorable matchup against the No. 3 Bucks.

“Maybe it’ll be a little different next year, next season,” he said. “But for this year, it was fun, through the ups and through the downs. Nobody complained. You just go out there and you can compete, play hard. And I think we did that for the most part.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra took part of the blame for Butler’s rough ride to the finish, while also putting perspective on Butler’s 14.5 playoff scoring average, his lowest since averaging 13.3 in the 2013 postseason as a second-year player with the Bulls.

“He can manipulate a game offensively against any coverage, against any player as well as any player that I’ve ever coached,” Spoelstra said. “We just weren’t able to get it done in this series, and probably it’s a bigger part on me, not being able to get him in better comfort zones and strengths more consistently.”