All-Star forward Jimmy Butler is about to dress up for his fourth NBA team in less than two years. Butler, who is a free agent, has agreed to join Miami Heat on a four-year, $142 million max contract.
Since the Heat doesn’t have the necessary cap space to sign Butler outright, the deal will be completed via sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. As part of the deal, Miami will send Josh Richardson to the 76ers.
The deal hasn’t been finalized just yet, as Heat is looking for a third team that is willing to take on Goran Dragic’s contract. Initially, Dallas Mavericks showed interest in Dragic but later decided to pursue other options.
“In analyzing it, his salary was too high based on other things they’re trying to do,” – Dragic’s agent Bill Duffy told ESPN.
Butler was reportedly considering also joining the Houston Rockets via sing-and-trade but eventually zeroed in on the Heat. One of the reasons for such decision was the fact that he can become a face of the franchise there and undeniable leader of the team; something he would not be able to do elsewhere.
While the 76ers had interest in re-signing Jimmy Butler as well, they were not ready to offer him a max contract. They instead used the cap space to sign Al Horford, while Richardson’s addition assures them that they won’t lose Butler for anything.
Butler started the past season with the Minnesota Timberwolves before being traded to Philly. He played a total of 65 games in which he averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He increased his production in the postseason, managing to total 19.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.2assists per game.