Rockets Offer Four First-Round Picks For Jimmy Butler

The Rockets are making a renewed bid to trade for All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler, proposing an offer that includes four first-round draft picks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Houston is likely offering first-rounders in 2019, 2021, 2023 and 2025, a proposal that could help solidify the Timberwolves’ future alongside Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. NBA rules prohibit teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive future years or picks more than seven years in advance.

Minnesota is said to be seeking a complete haul of future assets, young players and star talent, with Butler’s original trade request reaching the public more than a month ago. Butler has remained on the roster over a week into the season as the team continues to sift through potential trade packages.

Wolves owner Glen Taylor could have more interest in future assets than president Tom Thibodeau, who has prioritized a win-now mentality by seeking proposals that can help the team in the present day.

“When you look at Jimmy (Butler), he’s a top-10 player in the league,” Thibodeau said at Media Day last month. “We’re not going to make a bad deal. If it’s a good deal, then we’re interested.”

For Houston, the trade proposal shows their willingness to go all-in on a deep playoff run this season. Talks between the two teams are currently fluid, according to the ESPN.com report. The Rockets are currently dealing with injuries to James Harden, Nene and James Ennis, along with Chris Paul‘s  multi-game suspension.

Butler, a top two-way player in the NBA, has averaged 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 steals in four games this season. He most recently requested to Wolves management that he be traded to the Heat, another team with longstanding interest in him. It’s unclear if he’d have interest in re-signing with the Rockets on a long-term deal once he reaches free agency in July of 2019.

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80 thoughts on “Rockets Offer Four First-Round Picks For Jimmy Butler

  1. Kenleyfornia74

    Declined 4 1st round picks…. I dont care how good HOU is. Thats insane MIN said no

    • oriolesravenstimberwolves04

      It said nothing about declining, it’s just now on the table.
      Cmon Glenn!!!! Pull it together

      • Itrainsontuesday

        That’s a crazy deal for Houston. Who knows how good they’ll be in 2025? Most of their current roster will be retired and I’d be surprised if they have more than 1 or 2 guys from today still on the team. I’m not a Wolves fan, but they have to make that deal.

  2. wettle

    I would pull the trigger NOW! Coupled with their own 1st’s, you could possibly move up in drafts, or use them for adding a player or two thru trades.

  3. oriolesravenstimberwolves04

    Does this mean no Tucker and Gordon? Is this Night+Chris+Nene+4 firsts? Man if Morey pulled that off!

  4. Pablo

    Make this happen! Can’t get something better for less than a year of Butler. Who cares if it makes the Rockets insanely good.

  5. formerlyz

    Just like the reported Heat offer, I dont believe it. If those deals were offered, their owner would make those deals happen.

    • Ptn18

      Like I’ve been saying. Why do you read this stuff when you only retain what “you” believe.

      • kenneth cole

        Dunning kruger effect. Don’t even bother. He wouldn’t believe Bill Parcells Ricky Williams either

      • x%sure

        That is supposed to be how it works for adults. You’re supposed to be able to think, not believe everything you read like a child.

  6. Dionis

    Might as well do it. You have a 4-5 year window with Paul and Harden, you tack on Jimmy and he’s on the same path as those two. Do they even have enough cap space to re-sign him though?

    • Ptn18

      Let’s ask Luke if they can sign him. That’s a good question. I don’t think they’ll have a very good bench if they do. They’d have to give up Gordon I’d think. With Harden’s poor defense, Butler would help. I’d think this would make them equal to or better than Golden State.

      • Luke Adams

        They wouldn’t have the cap room to sign him as an outside free agent in 2019, but if they trade for him before then, they’d get his Bird rights and could go over the cap as much as they want to re-sign him. (This is why they’re one of the teams most motivated to trade for him now rather than wait for him to be a free agent).

    • sleepyfloyd

      How do you figure 5 years with Paul? Harden, sure, but Paul is in his 13th year. He will be fortunate to be a starter in a couple of years.

  7. Ptn18

    Glen Taylor is said to not want to deal with Houston because they are a competitor. Let’s see what Glen Taylor says now, they have no other offers. ESPN says they are trying to get a 3rd team involved. If it goes through, Houston and Golden State will be a battle. The rest of the western conference can sit back and watch. If Houston is able to sign Butler, I’d think this would help Kawhi decide to stay in Toronto.

  8. xabial

    (If true) The types of trades that cripple franchises.

    If picks not protected, this seems like then-Nets’ GM Billy King’s KG-Pierce-JTerry blockbuster, seemed to crippled Nets ages, until they hired Sean “the savior” Marks.

    Maybe worse.

    • alphakira

      CP3/Harden/Butler is significantly better than 36 year old Pierce/37 year old Garnett/DWill. It’s not even close tot he same situation. Rockets were 1 win away from the Finals, Nets were hoping to be even close to what Miami was.

      • justinept

        Different situation at the time of the trade, yes. But the future ramifications of giving UP a ton of Picks, some of which wont be conveyed until after your potential window is closed is the same.

  9. A) They can’t really lottery protect the picks, since that would pose encumbrance issues.

    B) It’s not totally analogous to the Boston-Brooklyn trade, since Butler and Harden are so much younger

    C) Assuming no pick swaps, 2019 and 2021 would likely be in the mid to late 20s. 2023 and 2025 could be more valuable, but that’s a long way off. Don’t forget, part of what made those Brooklyn picks so valuable was that they were much worse than Boston in the years they had pick swaps. That seems unlikely in this case.

    It may be the best Minnesota can do, but I don’t know if it’s a great trade, given their current situation (Wiggins and Towns).

    I don’t think this makes Houston that much better than last year, and it makes it really difficult for them to improve moving forward (like the Cavs the past few years)

    • Luke Adams

      They could theoretically still protect the picks — they just wouldn’t be able to roll them over as first-round picks in the following year if they don’t convey. They’d have to become second-round picks instead.

  10. bowserhound

    4 late round picks isn’t that much for Houston, they won’t need any young talent for at least 3-4 years.

    • Ironmonger835

      Brooklyn also thought they were trading late first rounders. You think Rockets are still good in 2025?

      • bowserhound

        They will be good for 3-4 years, which makes the first 2 picks irrelevant. The latter 2 will be needed, but they will still be mid round picks at best. They won’t go straight to the bottom, especially when they know they don’t have 1st rounders coming. If something drastic happens they can trade Capela or younger pieces for draft picks. Brooklyn was just dumb.

        • Ptn18

          Houston is good enough to compete for a championship with Butler. That’s why they are going all in.

        • Browserhound, late first-round picks are irrelevant? Tell that to Kyle kuzma and Josh Hart. And Draymond Green too.

          • bowserhound

            Irrelevant because if they get Butler they won’t need any new talent (draft picks) for a few years dummy.

          • sleepyfloyd

            You think the wolves are smart enough to get a Hart or Greene late? You’re assuming too much. Same squad that thinks Wiggins is a max player and drafted TWO guards ahead of Curry years ago.

        • Late 1st round picks aren’t irrelevant, and I think there’s a strong chance the last two 1st round picks are easlily top 10 picks. I think Houston’s run is for sure not going to be longer than 4 years. My guess is there good for 3 years, and then I bet they turn into terrible in a hurry. They’re ran by smart people who know when to pull the plug and rebuild.

      • alphakira

        They traded their picks for a 36 and 37 year old. That’s not even close to trading for Butler in his prime.

    • Ptn18

      They are looking for a 3rd team to get involved is what the ESPN article says, probably to take Gorgui Dieng.

  11. It’s likely a Morey mirage.

    The picks are likely protected, and – since the limit is 7 years – they can only roll over so much (meaning some or all will convert to 2nds if within the protected zone after a few years). Morey is no Billy King.

    • mikecav19

      I don’t think they can do that other than maybe the 2025 pick. You cant trade consecutive picks and if you put protections on say the 2023 pick to where it turns into a 2024 pick, then you can’t trade the 2025 pick.

      • Actually, the 2025 pick is the one you absolutely can’t roll over as a 1st (because 2026 is beyond the 7 years).
        The others can roll over, but each later ones would automatically convert to 2nds when the roll over took the later one beyond the 7 years. Protection of any of these picks means all 4 can’t vest as a 1st, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be protection. It only means the notion of 4 1st rounders is mostly a mirage.

  12. restingmitchface

    I take that in a heartbeat if I’m Minny. It wouldn’t be an easy sell to casual fans, though; the vast majority of value in that trade would likely come from the ‘23 and ‘25 pics.

  13. driftcat28

    I don’t see how Minnesota can decline 4 first rounders when they’ll lose butler for nothing in the offseason. I’m a little skeptical that that is really on the table

  14. anthonyd4412

    I wouldn’t do it, 4 late first rounders? Minnesota can compete now, they need to deal for current or near future talent

    • restingmitchface

      You have no idea where those 2023 and 2025 picks will land. Houston’s window isn’t that big.

      • restingmitchface

        Hell, there’s even a decent chance that 2021 pick is in the lottery.

  15. snotrocket

    Jimmy Butler, Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Hoffa, doesn’t matter… DUBS IN 4.

  16. Codeeg

    You can’t assume what Houston’s record will be in 23/25. That alone could be 2 top 10 picks which would help Houston reinforce whenever KAt is declining or leaves.

  17. ChiSoxCity

    Considering that Houston is a championship contender already, those drafts picks are virtually useless to Minnesota. Anything beyond a 15th pick in the 1st round is, at best, a crapshoot. If I’m Thibs, I hold out for a better offer.

  18. Guest617

    boogie makes the warriors unstoppable – they aint’e fckn aroun this yr

  19. Z-A

    So…. They can’t even do this. Lol – Knight and Chriss can’t be traded with another player. They have to do multiple moves. Deal Chriss to someone. Then Deal Knight + 4 Firsts to Minn.

  20. Z-A

    If this offer does go through, for ONE guaranteed season of Jimmy Butler, it probably ruins the trade market for the rest of the year. Set the bar that high. Like Kawhi (MVP level player) for DeRozan (All Star with a max contract) made some sense.

    • Ptn18

      I doubt this would be a rental. Houston’s owner is willing to spend the money for a superteam.

  21. bitterpadresfan

    Kings need to eat some salary and try to get one of those picks.

  22. CubsRebsSaints

    The 4 picks will not be as great as “4 First Round picks” sounds. Unless the last 2
    Are top 8-10. Then it completely changes. If they’re all 20th or worse, you may hit one or two. Highly doubtful you’ll get a star.
    I mean four picks isn’t bad either, I just don’t think it’s so great.

  23. Ptn18

    Woj says the offer would ” include”, not be for 4 picks, and they are looking for a 3rd team.

  24. The way I see it is that you have a player who doesn’t want to be there and another team giving you future 1st rounders no matter where you pick. Also get cap relief and trade capital. Again, for a player that doesn’t want to be there. Feel like it’s a no brainer and just looking to finish the details.

    • ChiSoxCity

      Gotta be a lottery pick + players or something similar. Work the phones and be patient.

  25. TJECK109

    If they added 2027 into it my son could be one of those picks for the Wolves which in all odds will have been traded 5x before draft night

  26. the dude

    Here’s the thing. If it goes through, and they get a title, Houstons front office gets a reputation of wanting to win. Even if Jimmy bolts, it becomes a destination team for players that want to win because the team will do what it takes to do that. Brooklyn had the right idea but went for players past their prime. KG is the reason 8m a Celtics fan but I was glad they made that trade

    • ChiSoxCity

      Houston already has that reputation as a willing spender.

      The problem is, there’s no rhyme or reason to FA player movement in the NBA.

      The Rockets have had to settle for improving their roster via trades and the draft (like 98% of the league). Elite FAs refuse to go to places like Houston, Chicago, NY or L.A. (LeBron being the lone exception), regardless of money on the table.

  27. acarneglia

    When has trading 4 first round picks ever gone wrong? *looks at Billy King*

    • jeb39999

      Also you can turn around and swap picks for a good player with a better attitude now or done the line

  28. jeb39999

    The only reason this trade won’t happen is if Thibs wants to keep his job. Without Butler the wolves just aren’t a playoff team and not making the playoffs is the only thing Taylor needs to get rid of Thibs. So Thibs is no fool for wanting Butler to stick around his job really depends on it. Notice all of the MinniBulls are only signed to one year deals? There could easily be no trace of the Thibs experiment on the roster by this time next year, it’s like a quick reset button waiting to be pushed.

    • Well Taylor is an idiot if let’s a short minded GM whose worried about losing his job being the sole decision maker. This is the type of deal that can make the Wolves a dynasty if things break right.

    • Djones246890

      This is a prime example of why a coach should absolutely NEVER be a GM or President of Basketball Operations. WAY too many conflicting interests, and no balance.

  29. Ptn18

    Bleacher Report says Housto would need to send $16.4mm along with the picks to match Butler’s $20mm contract. He could then sign for $32.7mm this summer. BR says the trade could be done by using Brandon Knight (but not until Halloween) or Marquise Chriss along with Nene to do the deal. Says Eric Gordon could be used, but the Rockets will try not to. Will the Heat up their offer?

  30. whynot101

    Shows how much bulls got fleeced while having to give their own first rounder back to minny as part of the deal

  31. sleepyfloyd

    What Minnesota needs to do sooner than later is move on from both KAT and Wigbum. Dudes suck and will never ever make a winner.

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