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Report: 76ers signing-and-trading Jimmy Butler to Heat

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 09: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat in action against Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the final regular season home game of his career at American Airlines Arena on April 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

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Jimmy Butler told the Heat he wanted to join them.

Despite being capped out, Miami found a way to make it happen.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

A four-year max contract will pay Butler $140,790,600. Beyond Josh Richardson, the Heat must send out an additional $15,997,024 in salary to make this deal work. Most of that salary can’t go to the 76ers, who need cap space to sign Al Horford.

Butler should thrive in Miami’s culture. He becomes the the team’s leader and go-to player. The Heat don’t want to rebuild, and this makes them instantly better.

But Butler doesn’t elevate Miami into serious Eastern Conference contenders. He merely pushes them toward the playoffs, maybe winning a series. That’s not exactly thrilling for a franchise that was recently winning titles with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Butler will also turn 30 before the season and has heavy mileage. As good as Butler is right now, that limits his value. The backend of his contract could get ugly.

Will the Heat get enough output in the short-term to justify it? It’s a narrow needle to thread.

For parting with Butler, the 76ers get two nice players – Horford and Richardson. Richardson is a solid defensive wing who’s expanding his offensive game. He’s cheaper and younger than Butler, necessary for creating room to sign Horford now and important as Philadelphia builds long-term around Joel Embiid (and maybe Ben Simmons).

Miami has coveted Butler for a while. The Heat nearly traded for him when he was leaving the Timberwolves. It took a while and we don’t yet know the full cost, but Miami finally got its man.