The Philadelphia 76ers waited a bit to make their move once NBA free agency got underway, but they used the span of roughly one-to-two hours to create a few waves. After first signing Tobias Harris to a long-term contract extension, the team proceeded to agree to a sign-and-trade which will send Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the Heat will Josh Richardson to the Sixers as part of the sign-and-trade.
But that was just the starting point of things, as almost immediately after, the Sixers proceeded to sign a former rival big man. Wojnarowski dropped the additional report that the team had come to terms on a four-year, $109 million deal with former Boston Celtics forward Al Horford.
It’s also worth noting that Woj revealed that Horford’s new contract comes with $97 million guaranteed and $12 million in bonuses tied to championships, adding an intriguing layer to it.
We’re going to take a look at the latest on the Sixers roster and starting lineup after the moves. It’s also worth noting that the team lost JJ Redick in free agency, as the guard signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.
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Update on 76ers-Heat Jimmy Butler Trade
There was confusion between the teams on what the Mavericks would receive in the trade. As Marc Stein of the New York Times reported, the Mavericks believed they were adding Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones Jr., but the Heat do not want to trade the latter. Beyond that, in order to make the salary cap situation work, Miami has to deal Goran Dragic and Dallas appears unlikely to take on his contract.
Per Stein, it doesn’t seem likely that the deal will fall apart if this can’t get sorted out. Instead, the Heat would need to find a new trade partner for Dragic to step in as the third team in the deal.
In turn, this deal has not been finalized yet, but it does still seem likely to get done.
Heat & 76ers Jimmy Butler Trade Reportedly Gets Done
While it took a bit more time than expected, the Heat and Sixers made the trade happen by including two additional teams. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers were also brought into the deal.
According to NBA salary cap analyst Albert Nahmad, the Heat are adding Meyers Leonard along with Butler, while Hassan Whiteside heads to the Portland Trail Blazers as well.
Per Wojnarowski, the Clippers will receive Maurice Harkless along with a future first-round pick from the Heat. As ESPN’s Zach Lowe points out, the deal is “complex” and it appears there may be additional aspects of it that could trickle out in the near future.
We’ll update this post as additional information is revealed, but the general idea behind the deal of Butler to Miami and Richardson to Philly remains the same.
76ers Roster & Starting Lineup With Josh Richardson & Al Horford
*Notates expected starter
C: Joel Embiid*, Jonah Bolden
PF: Al Horford*, Mike Scott
SF: Tobias Harris*, Mattise Thybulle
SG: Josh Richardson*, Zhaire Smith, Marial Shayok
PG: Ben Simmons*, Shake Milton
Along with the trade for Richardson and signing of Horford, the Sixers opted to pay big money to make sure they re-signed Harris. As Woj reported, his new deal to remain in Philly is worth $180 million over five years. Beyond that, the team also brought back Mike Scott on a two-year, $9.8 million deal, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
Obviously, the Sixers have space to round out their roster, and it’s expected they’ll do just that in the coming days. There’s a belief that Mattise Thybulle could play a role for the team fairly early on in his career, as the former Washington forward apparently impressed the team’s front office quite a bit.
Following the draft, Sixers general manager Elton Brand made it apparent how badly the team wanted Thybulle, as The Athletic’s Derek Bodner revealed.
“As we know, as I’ve been saying all along, we have championship aspirations,” general manager Elton Brand told the media following the draft. “We needed (Thybulle). We needed that kind of toughness, we need that type of culture, we need that piece that can step in right now.”
Brand continued his high praise for Thybulle, which points to the rookie potentially having a decent role sooner than later, assuming things pan out.
“When we saw him on the board, (and) a few other players in our box that we liked were gone, and he was our target,” Brand said on Friday. “We had to move up to get him. Whatever it took. Dealing with whatever team. I had to get it done.”