Just days after the chatter around the Houston Rockets making a push to trade for Jimmy Butler, it appears the action has shifted to the Miami Heat. While there’s been no official word as to whether the Philadelphia 76ers have an interest in doing a sign-and-trade with Butler, both the Heat and Rockets are reportedly ready and willing.
Among the recent chatter surrounding Butler’s impending free agency, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the 29-year-old is expected to meet with the Heat on Sunday in Florida. Beyond that, he’ll then hold a meeting with the Rockets early in the week in Los Angeles.
That was just the starting point, though, as it appears there are suitors emerging to step in as a potential third team in a sign-and-trade to bring Butler to the Heat. As NBA reporter Greg Sylvander revealed, the Dallas Mavericks “may be willing” to join if it brings Goran Dragic to town as part of the deal.
It is worth noting that Sylvander doesn’t make this deal sound as though it’s going to happen in the immediate future, meaning the very early stages of free agency. He states that the Heat could benefit from Butler’s recruitment “taking a weeks time,” as it would allow additional third teams to emerge if/when they miss on players in free agency.
Follow the Heavy NBA Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
Heat to Face Major Competition for Jimmy Butler
There have been plenty of smoke and mirrors put up by NBA teams in the build-up to the start of NBA free agency, but clarity should come in the next few days on Butler’s outlook. Specifically, we’ll get a better idea as to how the Sixers plan to approach the situation with the guard who they acquired early last season via trade.
But regardless of what Philly decides, Butler has a number of potential suitors in free agency. Along with the Heat and Rockets, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have both shown interest in Butler.
The belief that the Heat would benefit from Butler remaining a free agent beyond the start of Sunday’s action getting underway is spot on, though. If you assume that the Lakers are able to land a player such as Kawhi Leonard or D’Angelo Russell, they’d be removed from the Butler sweepstakes.
As for the Nets, it’s believed they’ll sign Kyrie Irving, and while they have another max contract spot available, there have been a number of players linked to it, including Kevin Durant. The biggest issue for the Heat could be if the Sixers are willing to deal Butler, specifically if he’s open to re-signing longterm and remaining in Philly.
There’s a lot that needs to play out when it comes to Butler’s free agency, and a sign-and-trade happening is far from a guarantee at this point.