With hours to go before the start of NBA free agency, Jimmy Butler may have just signaled that he is signing with the Miami Heat. Butler responded to former NFL player Chad Johnson’s tweet asking if he was in Miami and if he could get a race with the NBA star.
“ASAP after I get a contract done.. you’ll be the first I call. I want the footrace first tho. Slow ass,” Butler tweeted.
Rumors of Butler joining the Heat have kicked up a notch as free agency gets started. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Butler is in Miami and plans to meet with the Heat once free agency officially begins tonight.
An NBA source confirmed on Saturday that 76ers swingman Jimmy Butler is scheduled to meet on Sunday with the Miami Heat in Florida. Butler is then expected to meet with the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles sometime in the next few days.
It is important to note that the Heat would need to pull off a sign-and-trade with the Sixers as Miami does not have the necessary cap space to sign the All-Star outright.
Jimmy Butler’s “Mind Was Totally Blown” by the Reception Dwyane Wade Received During His Last Miami Home Game
It looks like Butler has been watching the Heat from afar. AP writer Tim Reynolds reported that Butler was blown away by the reception Wade received during his Heat home finale in Miami.
“Source says Jimmy Butler’s “mind was totally blown” by all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Dwyane Wade’s last home game, with him telling friends afterward that being able to see what Miami and the Heat organization are about left an enormous impact on him,” Reynolds tweeted.
The Heat is not the only team that has been linked to Butler. The Rockets, Clippers and Sixers have also been listed as top landing spots for Butler as well. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers are open to working out a sign-and-trade deal if they are not able to re-sign Butler.
“Sources: Jimmy Butler expected to meet the Miami Heat in South Fla. Sunday. Butler/Rockets meeting likely early week in LA. Sixers haven’t ruled out working with Butler on sign-and-trades, which Miami and Houston need to acquire the All-Star guard,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
The Clippers Would Like to Pair Jimmy Butler With Kawhi Leonard
Butler has no shortage of suitors, and we could see his free agency stretch out a few days with the number of meetings he is reported to have scheduled. One top option for the Clippers is to pair Butler with Kawhi Leonard, per The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
There are many scenarios seemingly in play, but sources say one in particular looks increasingly possible: Butler teaming up with Leonard on the Clippers. There are strong indications that Leonard is interested in having Butler as a running mate, and it’s the sort of powerful pairing that would certainly vault the Clippers into contention.