2019 NBA free agency tracker: Grades for every deal so far

Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images /
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NBA free agency
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Jimmy Butler: 4 years, $142 million (Miami Heat)

Jimmy Butler was expected to meet with the Miami Heat, but this fell into place much quicker than anyone was expecting. In a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for Josh Richardson, the Heat are picking up a player they’ve coveted since he was first available with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Butler gives Pat Riley is bona fide superstar to build around, though it comes at the price of a terrific two-way wing in Richardson, who was on a team-friendly contract. Paying Butler an average of $35.5 million a year through his age-33 season is a daunting prospect, but if he stays healthy, he’ll remain one of the NBA’s best two-way wings.

Now the question becomes how Miami chooses to build around him. Will the young pieces grow up fast enough for Riley — and Butler — to be content with their progress? Or are guys like Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow now available for the right price as Riley looks to be aggressive?

Only time will tell, and the three-team sign-and-trade still has details to be ironed out, but for now, the Heat have once again thrown their names into the ring when most assumed they had no moves to make.

Grade: B+