Jimmy Butler is headed to the Miami Heat in a four-team deal that involves the Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, LA Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. The trade, which was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, was later reported by multiple media outlets.
The deal reportedly will send Hassan Whiteside to the Trail Blazers, Josh Richardson to the Sixers, Maurice Harkless and a future first-round pick to the Clippers, and Meyers Leonard to the Heat.
Butler reportedly met with Miami right when free agency began on Sunday and made it clear that he wanted to join the Heat. He is expected to sign a four-year, $142 million deal.
Miami made the deal a day after agreeing to the framework of a move that will also bring Jimmy Butler to the Heat via trade with Philadelphia. The particulars of that trade were still being worked on Monday.
Whiteside averaged 12.3 points and a team-best 11.3 rebounds last season, appearing in 72 games and starting 53 of those. He also averaged only 23 minutes per game, and at times expressed his displeasure about not having a larger role.
But with Portland, he figures to have a chance at starting right away.
For his career, Whiteside has averaged 13.4 points and 11.4 rebounds over parts of seven seasons with Miami and Sacramento. He led the NBA in blocks per game in the 2015-16 season, then led the league in rebounds per game the following season.
Harkless averaged 7.7 points last season for the Blazers.
Leonard had a 30-point game in Portland’s final game last season, the one where the Trail Blazers were swept out of the Western Conference finals by the Golden State Warriors. He averaged 5.9 points last season, and has spent each of his first seven NBA seasons in Portland.
All three of the players involved in the Miami-Portland trade have expiring contracts this season.
After arriving from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a November trade that capped one of the 2018 calendar year’s longest-running sagas, Butler proved crucial to the Philadelphia 76ers’ ascension toward the top of the Eastern Conference, hitting clutch shots and keeping the offense humming while providing shutdown defense.
In 55 games with the 76ers, Butler averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 46.7 percent overall and 34.7 percent from 3-point range. Playing alongside a stacked starting five in Philadelphia, particularly after the deadline acquisition of Tobias Harris, Butler averaged fewer than 20 points for the first time since 2014-15.
But the ball often ended up in Butler’s hands during crucial moments, both as an initiator and finisher. A four-time All-Star who also earned four All-Defensive Second Team nods in his eight seasons, Butler wields a two-way skill set that has long been held in high regard, though his always-on intensity has occasionally led to infamous flare-ups. Most notably, Butler’s first preseason practice appearance for the Timberwolves last season lit NBA Twitter on fire with its by-the-minute, can-you-break-more updates on scrimmage success and soul-crushing trash talk.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.