The Associated Press is reporting that Jimmy Butler told confidants the would happily listen to the Miami Heat if the team wanted to talk to him after free agency begins on June 30.
One problem: The Heat won’t have the cap space to sign him, especially not to the maximum-salary contract the 76ers swingman is in line to receive once he opts out of the final year contract before the June 29 deadline.
As a result, Butler would probably have to do a sign-and-trade deal in order to land with the Heat. The Sixers would sign him to a contract and then trade him to the Heat.
The Sixers can offer him a five-year, $190 million max contract next summer.
They acquired the four-time All-Star swingman along with Justin Patton from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick in November. Butler averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals in 55 regular-season games with the Sixers.
His scoring average rose to 19.4 points in 12 playoff games. Butler scored 22 or more points in five of the Sixers’ last six postseason matchups.
He also was the team’s primary ball handler in the playoffs.
In addition to him, the Sixers are also trying to bring back soon-to-be free agents Tobias Harris and JJ Redick as a way to keep the core intact. Meanwhile, Ben Simmons could receive a five-year extension this summer.