One report indicates that Butler would be interested in a potential sign-and-trade deal between the 76ers and Heat.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe offered an exhaustive look at free agency, writing the following about Butler’s status:
“The Heat could draw Butler’s interest in the sign-and-trade market, sources say.”
That type of acquisition is the Heat’s only real way to obtain Butler, since their cap situation precludes them from signing him as a free agent. Last year, they had made a concerted effort to acquire him from his previous team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the proposed deal fell through. He was subsequently dealt to the 76ers.
Butler, who turns 30 in September, has played eight years in the NBA and has averaged 16.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals a game. This past season with the Sixers, he topped those numbers by averaging 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.8 steals per contest.
The Heat figure to have competition in the trade market for Butler, with the Houston Rockets also reportedly in the mix. However, on Friday, Heat legend Dwayne Wade jokingly hinted at possibly coming out of retirement to play with Butler.
While that likely remains a long shot, it would offer the team added incentive to get a deal done.