After a whirlwind tour of the NBA that included playing for three teams in three seasons, Jimmy Butler is reportedly heading to Miami.
Miami is finalizing a sign-and-trade with Philadelphia to acquire Jimmy Butler, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
Josh Richardson will reportedly join the 76ers as part of a multi-team sign-and-trade deal that will give the Heat an All-Star caliber player the roster has lacked for several seasons.
Deal reportedly completed Monday
ESPN reported that terms of the deal were completed Monday after reported problems in the trade over who was going where emerged Sunday between the Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.
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The deal now includes four teams, with the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers involved. The Trail Blazers are sending 25-year-old forward Maurice Harkless and his $11 million contract to the Clippers, who will also receive a first-round pick from the Heat in the deal.
The Heat also sent Hassan Whiteside and the remaining year of his max contract ($27 million) to Portland and will receive Meyers Leonard in return.
Marc Stein of the New York Times initially reported Sunday that the Heat would send Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones to the Dallas Mavericks as part of the deal in order to clear salary cap space, but later reported that that part of the deal hit a snag.
The Mavericks maintain they agreed to join the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade under the belief they were getting Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones Jr., league sources say. The Heat reportedly do not want to surrender Jones and say they must trade Goran Dragic to make the cap math work
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 1, 2019
The Mavericks are removed entirely from the deal completed Monday.
After agreeing to the Butler deal, the 76ers reportedly agreed to sign former Boston Celtics forward Al Horford to a four-year, $109 million deal. They also reportedly agreed on Sunday to a five-year, $180 million deal to retain Tobias Harris.
In addition to losing Butler, the 76ers also reportedly watched starting shooting guard JJ Redick join the New Orleans Pelicans in free agency.
Butler’s brief stint in Philadelphia over
Butler spent most of last season playing for Philadelphia, helping lead the 76ers to the second round of the playoffs where they lost in Game 7 to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors.
Butler forced a trade early in the season from the Minnesota Timberwolves, punctuated by his infamous practice tirade in which he taunted teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, reportedly yelling “They ain’t [expletive]!” and “They soft!”
General manager Scott Layden and then coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau were also reportedly on the wrong end of the rant that came on the heels of three weeks of failed trade talks after he asked to be shipped out of town.
It would be another month before Philadelphia would reach a deal with Minnesota to bring Butler to the 76ers as part of their all-in effort to compete for a championship.
76ers came up short after in-season moves
They fell short of their goal with a core highlighted by Butler, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Harris, who was acquired via midseason trade. But despite adding Butler and Harris after the season started, the team gelled to the point of earning the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.
And the Butler who was so disgruntled in Minnesota was nowhere to be found — at least publicly — in Philadelphia.
Splitting his time in two conferences and sharing the ball with a star-loaded roster, Butler failed to make the All-Star team last season while averaging 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, four assists and 1.9 steals per game and playing at his normal high level on defense.
Prior to last season, Butler had made four consecutive All-Star teams while playing with the Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls. The 29-year-old is also a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.
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