Butler reportedly felt Miami was the perfect fit for him after meeting with the team's contingent. He eventually joined the Heat over a handful of other contenders on a four-year, $142-million maximum contract in a sign-and-trade from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Miami's representatives at the meeting apparently included head coach Erik Spoelstra, team executive and former All-Star Alonzo Mourning, and team president Pat Riley.
But one person who wasn't present, Dwyane Wade, may have had the most profound impact on Butler's decision. The two spent the 2016-17 season as teammates with the Chicago Bulls and became close friends.
"He has always said how nice Miami was," Butler said of Wade. "... I'm talking about the organization and the people that (are) in it and how they go about everything ...
"He would always say, 'It would be a place for you. The type of guy you are, the mentality you have, the Heat culture, it just fits.'"
The Heat reportedly pitched Butler on being the first established star to join their current roster and assured him that they would aggressively pursue adding another.
Miami was interested in Russell Westbrook before he was dealt to the Houston Rockets, reports Chiang, and the team remains confident it will bring in another star to pair with Butler at some point.
The Heat apparently also pointed to their past championships and the steps taken to win them; a blockbuster trade for Shaquille O'Neal helped Wade claim a title in 2006, and the 2010 additions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh eventually led to championships in 2012 and 2013.
"It just feels like everything has come together for him at a really ideal time and in a really ideal way," Butler's agent Bernie Lee said. "Now he's joining an organization that seemingly makes it very, very clear what the agendas and goals are of the group. They match Jimmy's pretty closely."