Are the Sixers laying the groundwork for a blockbuster trade this summer?

The Philadelphia 76ers have plenty of cap space and picks needed to make a big deal this summer and they already appear to have a strong chance to land a star. 
Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey
Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

An underrated off-season storyline is quietly emerging with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler reportedly expecting a max contract. Meanwhile, judging by team president Pat Riley's comments regarding Butler, the Heat seem less than willing to meet his demands.

Butler isn't exactly shy about voicing his mind and notoriously forced his way off the Minnesota Timberwolves and onto the Philadelphia 76ers in the winter of 2018. If the Sixers have their way, he could do the same thing, this time with the Heat moving him.

Although Butler's under contract for next season, he may put internal pressure on them to make a decision regarding his future. Were that the case, then he might demand a trade, and the Sixers, despite being rivals of the Heat, would be the ideal landing spot for him.

Can the Philadelphia 76ers land Jimmy Butler from the Miami Heat this summer?

With around $60 million in cap space and several first-round picks available thanks to the James Harden trade, the Sixers can make a strong offer for Butler. Not only that but if he were to be traded to Philly then they are reportedly willing to max him out, giving Butler further incentive to make his way there if the Heat aren't going to pay him.

The 76ers can absorb the entirety of his contract into their cap space while trading two firsts to the Heat. That would give Miami a huge trade exception and two firsts which they can use to chase a star of their own.

The Sixers bringing back Butler to play alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey would give them a potential championship core. Not only that but they would still have approximately $25 million in cap space to pursue another big name or, more likely, several rotation players to fill out their roster.

All in all, Butler could very well be traded this summer as the Heat look to remake their roster following a disappointing season. If he and Miami can't agree on an extension, then he just might end up with the Sixers this summer.