Rockets Making Strong Effort To Land Jimmy Butler

The Rockets are making a “strong effort” to acquire Jimmy Butler in a trade with the Timberwolves, sources tell Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link). Berman’s report comes after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated on Wednesday that Houston was pursuing Butler.

Wojnarowski, who suggested that the Rockets were “trying to be creative” as they explored trade possibilities for Butler, wrote that it would be tricky for the club to pull off a deal for the All-NBA wing without involving a third team. Berman, meanwhile, doesn’t offer much in the way of specifics.

It’s hard to imagine Houston being able to trade for Butler without giving up Eric Gordon, whose $13MM+ salary would make for a good salary-matching piece and whose ability to make an immediate impact might appeal to Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau. The Rockets also have full control over their future first-round picks, though the value of their 2019 selection would be limited, since it’s likely to fall in the late-20s.

Although the Rockets are apparently pushing to land Butler, they’re not the only team involved. Wojnarowski’s report on Thursday named the Clippers and Cavaliers as other clubs in the mix, with the Heat still considered the most aggressive suitors. The Wizards and Mavericks have also gauged the asking price on Butler, while the Nets have interest but haven’t engaged Minnesota recently, per Woj.

Here’s more on Butler:

  • The Heat are open to the idea of taking on Gorgui Dieng‘s contract from the Timberwolves “under the right circumstances,” according to Wojnarowski.
  • Wojnarowski indicates that potential trade partners are skeptical of Thibodeau’s willingness to move Butler, since he’s making counter-offers he knows would never be accepted. In an appearance on the Bill Simmons Podcast, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer provided an example, reporting that the Timberwolves asked for Ben Simmons when they made a counter-offer to the Sixers (hat tip to Dane Delgado of NBC Sports). We passed along a report earlier today suggesting that Philadelphia has since pulled out of the Butler sweepstakes.
  • The Nuggets were mentioned several days ago as a potential dark horse for Butler, but T.J. McBride of Mile High Sports hears that Denver views Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris as “untouchable” (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). A trade for an All-Star like Butler is probably a long shot without any of those players involved.
  • Earlier today, we relayed an update on the Kings‘ potential involvement in the Butler talks — Sacramento is still interested in getting involved as a facilitator, but will be cautious about adding too much multiyear money to its cap.
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26 thoughts on “Rockets Making Strong Effort To Land Jimmy Butler

  1. monymgr

    Sounds like Glen Taylor needs to remove Thibs from the entire process if he wants Butler traded …

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    • Thibs needs to be fired. Wrong person for the situation or for what the team will be.

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      • bennyg

        surprised he’s involved, don’t see him lasting the season

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        • monymgr

          Agree, I do not see Thibs coaching this team the entire year . Taylor needs to cut the cord now ..!!

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    • ClancyJ

      Thibs is just being a baby now that his boss told him what to do. Just fire him and get a coach to get the best out of the players we have.

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  2. paladin

    Agent Bernie Lee packed my bags last night pre-flight. Zero hour 9 AM and I am gonna be high as a kite by then. I miss LA so much, I miss my wife. It’s lonely out in Minnesota on such a timeless team.
    And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time till Trade brings me round again to find, I’m not the superstar I am at home. NO, NO ,NO…. Jimmy man Burning out his fuse up here alone.
    Minneapolis ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it’s cold as hell, and there’s no one there to raise them if you did. And all this basketball/trade talk I don’t understand it’s just my job five days a week. Jimmy Man burning out his fuse up here alone. “Ballad of Jimmy B”

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  3. Z-A

    Lol Ben Simmons? Put down the weed. Why stop there, ask for Embiid too.

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    • afsooner02

      Yeah that would have resulted in hard laughing and then hanging up.

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  4. Grant
    Grant

    Some of My Butler trade ideas:
    Clippers Deal:
    Clippers get Butler
    Suns Get Beverley
    T-Wolves get Tobias, Bender, and Multiple 1st rd picks from Clippers/Suns (maybe add Kings swapping McLemore/Dieng for cap relief with picks added)
    Heat Deal:
    Heat get Butler
    T-Wolves get Warren, Richardson, and picks/players from Suns/Kings
    Suns get Jones, Mclemore
    Rockets Deal:
    Rockets get Butler, Zach Randolph
    T-Wolves get Gordon, Labisiere, McLemore, Nene, picks
    Kings get Gibson, Knight, and picks
    Kings get Waiters

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    • Grant
      Grant

      Kings get Waiters is part of Heat deal obviously. Don’t know why it got moved behind Rockets

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      • osfan9987

        And again with Jones, the suns aren’t a playoff team and nobody is giving up lottery picks for Jones or Beverly, if the suns wanted to do that they wouldn’t need three teams to facilitate such a deal because sota/la would be all over that

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    • osfan9987

      So in your first scenario the suns are giving up bender and a future first for Patrick Beverly? I just don’t think that’s even a little realistic

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  5. victorg

    obviously would be awesome to get butler but they do not have the pcs.
    Knight is hurt and has low value , Gordon is legit but would take more then that. I mean their best offer would have to be
    Gordon/Chriss maybe even Ennis and 2 top 5 protected #1s but say in 2020 and 2021 and if your minny you just bank that rox go down hard after 2 years IDK.

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    • GuruGray

      Teams can’t trade first round picks in back to back seasons, so would have to be something like 2020 and 2022

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      • southbeachbully

        If the Wolves could get Gordon straight up for Butler, they should. You’re trading a disgruntled 22 pg player on a 1/$19 (because he’s going to opt out of 2020) for a 18 pg player on a 2/$17.5 deal. You make that all day. I don’t see a team, who’s pick is worth having, giving up a 1sr round early pick, knowing Butler would more than likely opt out.

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        • victorg

          just don’t know if being a sixth man de valued Gordon I mean when he was a RFA he had teams lining up to pay him big $$$ and then when his FA came injuries cost him money but the past 2 seasons he has proved he can stay healthy and create shots and make shots so not being a homer I do think it might be the wolves best offer Gordon/chriss and a top 7 protected first rounder in 2020 from the rockets.

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  6. Decius

    I love that my Knicks aren’t getting mixed up in this. He wants a max 5-year deal. That contract will be an albatross in years 4 and 5. I want no part of that. Love him as a player now but he strikes me like the kinda player who falls off the cliff talent-wise in his early 30s.

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    • Dave4585

      Yeah the Knicks of old would of already had him on the roster with future 1st round draft picks lost in the shuffle.

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  7. Ptn18

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune writer, owned by Glen Taylor, suggests that information drying up the last couple days, might be a sign that a deal is getting closer. He says to get all or part of what they are asking for would take longer. He agreed with Brian Windhorst and Wojnarowski of Whiteside/ Richardson for Dieng/ Richardson would be fair. He compared trades to others. For timiing the only other comparable would be James Harden to Houston 3 days before the season started, and OKC got fleeced (Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin, and 2 picks). Says this one would be more comparable to Paul George for Domantis Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
    Another article says getting Butler would require some combination of Gordon/Tucker/Nene, would leave them without depth on the bench, and would be difficult financially.
    You can see article at “Minneapolis Star Tribune-What can Minnesota expect in Return for Butler.”
    Butler has been seen working out in Minneapolis gyms with a bandage on his hand.

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  8. legends of boston sports

    Why is everyone going crazy about Jimmy Butler…..yes a nice player but not THE guy. And he wants a 190 million dollar max extension. A few years ago it was rondo that was the difference in the Bulls/Celtics series not Butler….. in fact he got out played by Avery Bradley

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  9. Rockets make sense. Butler wouldn’t be much of an issue in that locker room, because nobody there will really care what he says. If Thibs has to trade him and he’s staying, then Gordon and Tucker for Butler (no picks) is simple and might be the best package that Thibs can get in terms of guys he can win with right now. Not sure Houston does this 2 for 1, but it has to be tempting even if he walks after next year.

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    • x%sure

      Butler for Gordon & Tucker. You know what’s great about that deal?– Both of them beating out Wiggins for starting jobs… and just as Wiggins starts his 5yr max contract! Tssss (the sound of a snake laughing) Tread carefully MIN…

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  10. Jim Bernstein

    If Houston wants Butler, I cannot imagine that giving up the 2019 first rounder would be much of a hurdle since it would likely be in the last four or five picks. I think Houston is looking at “all in” this season and if they believe that adding Butler makes that a much more achievable goal, they will not be at all worried about not having that pick.

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  11. southbeachbully

    If the Wolves could get Gordon straight up for Butler, they should. You’re trading a disgruntled 22 pg player on a 1/$19 (because he’s going to opt out of 2020) for a 18 pg player on a 2/$17.5 deal. You make that all day. I don’t see a team, who’s pick is worth having, giving up a 1sr round early pick, knowing Butler would more than likely opt out. Even if I’m a team on his list (Knicks, Nets and Clippards) I wouldn’t trade my 1st pick knowing I still have to pay market value for him when he opts out. And he still might decide to leave even if I’m willing to pay him.

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