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NBA Free Agency 2019: 76ers trade Butler to Heat, Sign Horford

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The Clippers are running out of Kawhi sidekicks.

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Miami Heat are finalizing a sign-and-trade deal to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers will receive Josh Richardson in the deal.

For the Clippers, this is a pretty rough blow. Butler was rumored to be one of the Clippers’ main potential targets to pair with Kawhi Leonard in an effort to bring the reigning NBA Finals MVP back to Los Angeles.

After dealing Butler, Philadelphia has also signed Al Horford—one of the few remaining players who the Clippers could have sought to support Leonard.

Losing out on Durant, Butler, and Horford all within the opening hours of free agency is a potentially fatal blow to the Clippers chances at Kawhi Leonard. Brian Windhorst suggested on ESPN this afternoon that a Leonard-Clippers deal could be contingent upon acquiring a second star, offering a report that Kawhi had personally called Durant about potentially playing together with LAC.

Now, there aren’t really options for a second star left, unless the Clippers look to a Hail Mary Bradley Beal trade with the Washington Wizards. If Kawhi is coming, it will likely be to play without a second All-Star.