MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The NBA’s annual game of musical chairs kicked off on Sunday, with Pat Riley and the Miami Heat right in the middle of things.
While Miami wasn’t in on the biggest of the big fish (Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard at the top of that list), Riley was actively trying to lure one or more of the league’s top players to South Florida.
On Monday, Riley and the Heat finally acquired their own ‘big fish,’ one they had been after since the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.
The Heat completed agreements on what will become a four-team trade to land Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers also involved.
Miami gets Butler and Meyers Leonard, the Blazers get Hassan Whiteside, the Clippers get Maurice Harkless and a future first-round pick and the 76ers get Josh Richardson.
Miami had agreed to send Whiteside to Portland for Harkless and Meyers Leonard earlier in the day, and then essentially got absorbed into the deal to get Butler — who will be under contract for $142 million over the next four seasons.
The Heat originally had the framework of a three-team deal with the 76ers and Dallas nearly in place Sunday, before the Mavericks went a different way.
But Riley and the Heat were forced to go a different route after some confusion.
Originally, the Heat agreed to send Goran Dragic to the Mavs to complete the three team deal, but Dallas believed they were receiving Derrick Jones Jr. and Kelly Olynyk.
Miami refused to give up those players and the trade fell through.
In the end, the Heat worked through the night trying to find a new trade partner to help them and Philadelphia get the deal done.
The Clippers and Blazers were the answer.
In Butler, the Heat are getting a 4-time NBA All-Star, who is known to be one of the top defensive players in the league. Butler averaged 18.7 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 4 assist per game last season and is expected to be a consistent go-to scorer for Miami, especially after Dwyane Wade’s retirement.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)