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 sign-and-trade deal that will give the Heat an All-Star caliber player the roster has lacked for several seasons.
The Heat will also send Goran Dragic to the Dallas Mavericks to create salary cap space for Butler, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
After dealing Butler, the 76ers will reportedly sign former Boston Celtics forward Al Horford to a four-year, $109 million deal.
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 Tobias 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 an 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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