The Miami Heat were reported to have landed star free agent Jimmy Butler via sign-and-trade on Sunday. When Monday rolled around, they were having trouble completing the deal after a misunderstanding with Dallas left them with too much money on their books to trade for Butler.
It seems they’ve found a way to help clear their cap sheets, at least a little bit. Miami agreed to trade Hassan Whiteside, making $27 million next year, to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mo Harkless and Meyers Leonard.
The Blazers needed a big man after Jusuf Nurkic went down with a gruesome leg injury late last year and in light of Enes Kanter’s imminent departure in free agency. While Whiteside doesn’t have as bright of a future as many believed, he’s still a solid player who can protect the paint better than many big men in the league. Most importantly, his contract expires after next season, preventing the Blazers from making any long-term financial commitment to the 30-year-old center.
The Heat, meanwhile, clear some space for the Butler sign-and-trade, although there should be more incoming news as they attempt to clear the appropriate space. Whiteside was making the most out of anyone else on the roster, but Leonard and Harkless will combine to make $22 million next year, so they didn’t clear enough to get it done ASAP. Still, a step in the right direction if Miami wants to land their star.