By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Jimmy Butler will get his wish. He wanted to be the man with the Miami Heat.
On Sunday night, the Philadelphia 76ers did a sign-and-trade with Butler to the Heat. Involved in this deal was a third team, including the Dallas Mavericks.
While Butler goes to the Heat, the 76ers received Josh Richardson. In addition, the Mavericks also picked up the deal of Goran Dragić.
The deal cannot become official until July 6th when the new league year starts. Right now, the deal is just agreed upon.
Butler — who is a former Marquette player — follows in the foot steps in another Marquette player in Dwyane Wade, who has his jersey retired by the school. The Houston, Texas native has been communicating with Wade through public posts on social media.
He also reportedly wanted to move to Miami last November when the Minnesota Timberwolves had a disgruntled Butler. Instead, he was traded to Philadelphia in a package involving Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and Robert Covington.
Now, with the Heat, Butler will be the face of the franchise with Wade’s retirement in April. Also, he also saves money with this move by going to Florida, as there is no personal income tax in the state.
According to sources, Butler did not like being the third option with the 76ers. He also showed before free agency that he was signaling that he wanted to leave.
Butler appeared in 65 games this past season, including 65 starts — 10 with the Timberwolves and 55 games with the 76ers. He averaged 18.2 points per game with the 76ers, while averaging 21.3 with the Timberwolves.
In regards to Richardson, the 76ers get a younger version of Butler. In addition, he is four-years younger than Butler.
Richardson appeared in 73 games, including 73 starts in his fourth season in Miami. He averaged 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 34.8 minutes per game.
In the third part of this deal, the Mavericks receive their new point guard. He will take the projected role away from Jalen Brunson.
The 33-year-old Slovenia becomes the third foreign player in the Mavericks starting five. Luka Donicic is also from Slovenia, while Kristaps Porzingis is from Latvia.
Gragic has spent the last four plus seasons with the Heat. This past season, he appeared in 36 games, including 22 starts.
He averaged 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.1 blocks in 27.5 minutes per game.
The 13.7 points per game average was his fewest since he averaged 11.7 points per game with the Houston Rockets during the 2011-12 season.