76ers, Heat working on Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade arrangement

The Miami Heat are finalizing a deal to acquire free agent Jimmy Butler via a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Josh Richardson.

Assuming the deal is completed, Butler will sign a four-year, maximum-salary contract with the Heat that will pay him just shy of $141 million.

While Richardson is the only player who has been reported to be on his way to Philadelphia, the Heat will need to trade away more players to make the deal work from their end, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes.

In 65 total games for the Wolves and Sixers last season, Butler averaged 18.7 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 4.0 assists per game with a .462/.347/.855 shooting line from beyond the arc, inside the arc, and from the free throw line. Butler averaged at least 20 points per game in each of the previous four seasons before 2018-19, making the All-Star Game in all four of those campaigns.

The Dallas Mavericks had originally been reported to be involved in the deal as a third team, but the Mavs have since backed out of the agreement. The Heat now need to work hard to repair the deal, which would likely come in the form of finding a different third team to finalize the agreement with. The deal is dependent on Miami being able to dump salary, something that they cannot do with the 76ers who don’t have room for it, either. This is why finding a third team to send salary to is essential.

The Mavericks originally were on board with taking on salary to help complete the trade, and they were excited to finalize a deal that would land them Goran Dragic, a player they were reportedly eager to snag. However, they backed out since they felt his salary would eat into their cap space in a way that would bash the team’s other free agency plans. Soon, it was reported that instead of Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones were going to be taking Dragic’s place in the trade, but it was later revealed that the Heat did not want to part with Jones in the deal. No matter what, though, the Olynyk-Jones duo doesn’t carry enough salary to a point that would allow the Heat to be in the clear if they dumped them.

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