The Miami Heat appear to have won the heart of former Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler even before free agency kicked off. While Butler is expected to meet with the Heat on Sunday, the latest rumblings point to his future potentially being in Miami. This stems from a new report citing that Butler will inform the team that he wants to take his talents to South Beach.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press was first to report the news, revealing that Butler is expected to inform Heat officials that he wants to land with Miami.
While it’s obviously great news for the Heat if it plays out, this isn’t quite as simple as Butler just signing with the team in free agency. This is due to the fact that it will require a sign-and-trade for Butler to get to Miami, which would benefit the Sixers in some fashion, as they wouldn’t lose him without adding talent in return.
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Dwyane Wade’s Impact on Jimmy Butler With Heat
It’s unknown if Butler and Wade spoke about the guard’s future and a potential move to join the Heat, but it appears the former Miami star may have indirectly played a role in this. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press revealed just recently that Wade’s farewell tour and final game with the Heat left “an enormous impact” on Butler.
“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 stated on Twitter.
Butler and Wade played together with the Chicago Bulls during the 2016-17 season, and it appears they’ve built a solid friendship. The two even tossed some jabs back-and-forth on social media recently.
During the lone season which the two spent together, Butler averaged career-high marks across the board with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. Wade posted 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists over 60 games.
Jimmy Butler Sign-and-Trade From Sixers to Heat
Assuming the above report on Butler’s interest in joining the Heat plays out in that fashion, the next steps would be figuring out a potential sign-and-trade with the Sixers. While it’s a tough blow for Philly to potentially lose the star guard who they acquired via trade last season, it’s likely they’ll receive a nice haul in exchange for him.
According to Spotrac, the Heat currently sit at $-35,129,730 in practical cap space. This means they would have to move a number of large contracts to figure out the best way for a trade to work. More than likely, it would include a third team, as the Sixers surely wouldn’t be interested in any potential salary dumps, but they could push to acquire options like Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo in the deal.