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.