The Brooklyn Nets hit the jackpot while the New York Knicks were left with jack squat. USA TODAY Sports Jeff Zillgitt breaks down the winners and losers in the early going of NBA free agency.
Jimmy Butler has agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will allow him to ink a four-year pact with the Miami Heat for a maximum contract of $142 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.
They were granted anonymity because terms of the deal will not be final until July 6, when the NBA’s moratorium period ends.
The Heat will have to send wing Josh Richardson to the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as other assets potentially, in order to get the deal done.
The move gives Miami the star presence it has lacked since the breakup of the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh core. The Heat have been treading water the last five seasons, with two playoff appearances as Pat Riley has refused to fully embrace a rebuild.
Miami seems to be betting on Butler’s acquisition attracting more free agents in 2020 when the Heat will be able to clear significant salary cap space.
With the 76ers re-signing Tobias Harris to a five-year, $180 million contract earlier Sunday, it became clear Butler would be headed elsewhere.
The Sixers acquired Butler from Minnesota early last season, and he was crucial to Philadelphia’s success, especially as a late-game performer who created offense and defended.
He brings intensity to the court and locker room, an