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Jimmy Butler to meet with Miami Heat to start free agency

Eliot Shorr-Parks
June 29, 2019 - 6:07 pm

Sunday is the beginning of free agency in the NBA and free agent guard Jimmy Butler will be spending it with a team other than the Sixers. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler is expected to meet with the Miami Heat on Sunday in Florida, presumably right at the start of free agency. That means he won't be with the Sixers and on the surface it seems to mean he is at least considering leaving the Sixers. 

This reports comes just days after ESPN's Brian Windhorst finally gave Sixers fans some hope on, saying he believes Butler wants a five-year max contract from Philadelphia, the only team able to offer him five years. 

“What I think Jimmy Butler wants is to get a five year max contract from Philadelphia and the way Philadelphia feels pressure to do that, is if he has other legitimate options that he may walk for," Windhorst said. "I think that’s what Jimmy Butler wants and I think Philadelphia could end all of this on Sunday (when free-agency begins at 6pm E.T.) with a five year offer. But are they willing to go to that level for a guy who can’t get that same offer elsewhere and has had injury history in the past?

Wojnarowski, however, is reporting that the Sixers are open to trading Butler in a sign-and-trade, which means they could end up landing some assets even if Butler does sign with the Heat. 

With the Sixers, Butler—in a contract season—was an exemplary teammate and became Philadelphia’s most reliable offensive player down the stretch of the games at the end of the season and into the playoffs. Butler averaged 19.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists on 45.1 FG% / 26.7 3P% / 87.5 FT% in 12 postseason starts with the Sixers, playing a lot of backup point guard behind Ben Simmons.