Jimmy Butler Rumors: 76ers Free Agent to Meet with Heat in Miami on Sunday

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 29, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 12: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket for shot against the Toronto Raptors during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Philadelphia 76ers free-agent guard/forward Jimmy Butler will visit the Miami Heat on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Sources: Jimmy Butler expected to meet the Miami Heat in South Fla. Sunday. Butler/Rockets meeting likely early week in LA. Sixers haven’t ruled out working with Butler on sign-and-trades, which Miami and Houston need to acquire the All-Star guard.

Butler, 29, averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last year for the 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves, who traded Butler to Philadelphia last November.

As Wojnarowski referenced, the Houston Rockets are in the mix for Butler as well as the Heat and 76ers. However, Houston and Miami would need to work out sign-and-trade deals with Philadelphia to make a move happen.

The Rockets and Heat are over the $109 million cap set for the 2019-20 season, per HoopsHype, forcing their hand for a sign-and-trade.

The 76ers don't have that issue and enjoy the luxury of being able to offer Butler a five-year, $188 million max deal, according to Connor Grott of UPI.com.

Butler has been connected to the Heat in the past, with the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds reporting that he's "very interested" in Miami per a source.

Miami is the one location where Butler can become a team's alpha, as he was during the tail end of his Chicago Bulls days. The Heat have a collection of solid talent that has hovered around the .500 mark for a few seasons but no solid star. Butler could be that player for the next few years as the Heat look to return to the postseason.

But the 76ers and Rockets are far closer to the championship, with both teams hitting the 50-win mark and making the second round of the postseason last year. Philadelphia can offer the most money as well, so if a five-year max materializes, then the 76ers would have a couple of strong marks in their favor.

Free agency begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.