The chatter around the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers engaging in a potential sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler ramped up just prior to the start of free agency. And once the action officially got underway, it took just hours for things to come to fruition. After news came that Butler was meeting with the Heat on Sunday, the outcome was almost expected by some.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the Heat and Sixers agreed to terms on a sign-and-trade involving Butler. In exchange, Miami has sent Josh Richardson to the Sixers, giving the team a strong option to immediately step in and help ease the loss of Butler.
The trade is huge for both sides and comes just after the Sixers signed Tobias Harris to a five-year, $180 million deal, per Woj. While the Sixers were set to lose Butler to free agency, they managed to pick up a strong player, while the Heat landed a player they’ve coveted for quite a while now in Butler.
We’re going to take a look at the updated Heat roster and starting lineup with Butler now in the mix.
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Update on Heat-76ers Jimmy Butler Trade
It seems 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 Olynyk and 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
It took more time than expected, but it appears 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.
Miami Heat Roster & Starting Lineup After Jimmy Butler Trade
C: Bam Adebayo* Meyers Leonard, Ryan Anderson
PF: Kelly Olynyk*, James Johnson
SF: Jimmy Butler*, KZ Okpala, Derrick Jones Jr., Rodney McGruder, Yante Maten
SG: Dion Waiters*, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Charles Cooke
PG: Goran Dragic*, Justise Winslow
Along with the trade, the Heat and Butler agreed to terms on a max contract extension worth $142 million over four years, as expected, which The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
The deal will shift the landscape a bit in the East, as the Heat add an impressive playmaker and a top-tier closer who will immediately step in as a go-to option on the offensive end. Beyond that, Butler is a strong defender, so pairing him up with Goran Dragic creates one of the more talented defensive backcourts in the NBA.
A sign-and-trade was the only way the team could realistically acquire Butler and the Sixers have to be happy to land Richardson in exchange. Miami also had competition in the Butler trade sweepstakes, as the Houston Rockets were also believed to have interest in striking a deal for him.
It wasn’t the slightest bit surprising to see the Heat make a run at Butler, as they were among the teams who had interest in him when the Minnesota Timberwolves were attempting to trade him.