Report: Jimmy Butler to Heat in Sign-and-Trade; Agrees to 4-Year, $142M Contract

Philadelphia 76ers' Jimmy Butler in action during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Philadelphia. 76ers won 112-101. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Jimmy Buckets is off the market.

The Miami Heat will acquire star wing Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Butler will get the full four-year max worth $142 million, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Philadelphia will receive Josh Richardson in exchange for the deal, per Charania.

Butler, 29, had a bizarre 2018-19 season, essentially forcing his way out of Minnesota before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He was one of two major midseason acquisitions for Philly, alongside Tobias Harris, and he showed his worth to the team almost immediately, providing a solid two-way game and the ability to close out contests late in the fourth quarter with some clutch performances and game-winning shots.

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In all, Butler averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 55 regular-season games with the Sixers, shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from three.

But Butler was even better for the team in the playoffs, as head coach Brett Brown all but made him the half-court point guard and ran far more pick-and-rolls for him. While Butler’s counting stats (19.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists) didn’t see a major bump, his impact was clearly felt.

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

Death, taxes, and Jimmy’s Buckets.

@JimmyButler | #HereTheyCome https://t.co/hhZ1DPUijv

His ability to create his own offense on the perimeter was huge for a Sixers team that lacked that type of player before his arrival. While Joel Embiid has emerged as the NBA‘s best center and Ben Simmons is a two-way force, neither is as adept at creating his own offense. In the postseason, when defenses tighten and possessions often boil down to players winning one-on-one battles to create buckets outside the context of team offense, Butler was vital. 

That makes his loss devastating for the Sixers. But his two-way play and clutch gene are huge additions for Miami, who are now one step closer to being title contenders next season.

In Miami, Butler will give the Heat their first superstar since the heyday of Dwyane Wade and the team’s title runs with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. There will be some questions about how Pat Riley and the front office will build around Butler, given that they gave up an excellent young player in Josh Richardson, but getting Butler was a move in the right direction.

Recruiting another star in the future will be the next step for a Heat team that once again has a path toward contention in the coming years.

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