The Jimmy Butler Sign-And-Trade Will Reportedly Include The Clippers And Blazers

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When the NBA’s free agency moratorium period opened at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, a number of deals got done in the first 30 minutes, as always happens.

The biggest was the Nets getting Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, which left Kawhi Leonard and the Sixers’ two stars, Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, as the biggest stars remaining. After Harris got a near max to stay in Philly, all eyes turned to Butler and shortly after it was announced a sign-and-trade was sending Butler to Miami — with the Sixers getting Josh Richardson and signing Al Horford.

However, the Heat needed to send out $16.1 million in contracts to make the rest of the deal work and initially, it was reported Goran Dragic would head to the Mavericks. Then it was Derrick Jones Jr. and Kelly Olynyk, not Dragic, going to Dallas, and after further confusion, it was reported the deal had died and a new third team would need to be involved.

As such, the last 14 hours was a bit chaotic, with the Heat dealing Hassan Whiteside to Portland, but that not being nearly enough to create the necessary salary matching in the Butler deal. That deal, however, facilitated the Heat getting the Butler trade done in what became a four-team trade with the Clippers and Blazers.

L.A. will get Maurice Harkless and a first round pick from Miami, taking him into cap space, but they still have enough room for Kawhi Leonard, which is likely why the Blazers deal got done to get a player that fit into space while leaving max room.

Harkless’ deal, plus the Whiteside deal, gets them just to the $16 million number and allows them to keep Dragic, which means they don’t have to chase a lower-tier point guard in free agency. Overall, it seems as though the Heat did pretty well in this, unloading Whiteside and making the Butler deal work after it looked like there was a real chance things were falling apart.

It’s a savvy move by the Clippers, as the free agent pool is drying up and they add another quality wing to bolster their roster as they try to make a pitch to Leonard. Whether they get him or not, they add someone that can help them this coming season, and that’s a luxury they have with their space the Lakers don’t right now.

For those trying to keep track, as of now, the deal looks like this, per Woj and Zach Lowe:

Miami gets: Jimmy Butler and Meyers Leonard
Philadelphia gets: Josh Richardson
Portland gets: Hassan Whiteside
L.A. Clippers get: Maurice Harkless and a future 1st round pick