Heat’s Pat Riley thought Jimmy Butler would sign a long-term deal with Sixers
Miami Heat president Pat Riley tried to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves when the four-time All-Star requested a trade last season, but the Philadelphia 76ers struck a deal with Minnesota.
Riley was upset because Butler was a player he was heavily enamored with. The Hall of Famer thought he had missed out on getting his new franchise player since Dwyane Wade was retiring after the season and figured Butler was going to sign a long-term deal with the Sixers.
Fast forward to today, and Butler is in South Beach thriving with the Heat. It’s a situation Riley admits he didn’t think would happen this time last season:
“I thought once he got traded to Philly, it would be over with, that he would probably end up signing a long-term deal with them,” Riley told Seerat Sohi of Yahoo Sports. “But we were very fortunate.”
As part of a sign-and-trade deal between the Heat and Sixers, Butler signed a four-year, $141 million deal with the Heat. A lot of pundits questioned Butler’s move to Miami. However, Butler is proving everyone wrong so far and has the Heat in the third spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Butler was reportedly blown away by all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Wade’s last home game with the Heat last season and told friends after the game being able to see what Miami and the Heat organization are about left an enormous impact on him.