Charania confirms that Houston’s offer features four first-round picks, along with a pair of injured players — Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss. As I noted earlier today when I broke down the details of a potential Rockets offer, Knight and Chriss will become eligible to be traded in a package next Wednesday.
Even when they eventually get healthy, Knight and Chriss aren’t the sort of players who will come close to approximating Butler’s impact for the Timberwolves, so – as Charania suggests – there’s little incentive for Minnesota to jump on that offer right away. According to Charania, teams around the NBA expect the Wolves to continue to survey the market, perhaps waiting for clubs like the Heat or even the Sixers to get involved again.
The appeal of that Rockets offer to the Wolves may ultimately come down to who is making the final decision and what their top priorities are. We know that president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden have been seeking a package that features some combination of veteran talent, young prospects, and cap relief, so a pick-heavy offer may not do the trick.
The Spurs’ trade of Kawhi Leonard over the summer could be a good reference point for what the Wolves want for Butler. San Antonio sought an impact player who could help the club right away and ultimately accepted Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan-centric offer instead of, say, a Celtics offer loaded with draft picks. Of course, everyone with the Spurs seemed to be on the same page in that scenario — it’s not clear if that’s the case in Minnesota, where owner Glen Taylor may have different priorities than Thibodeau and Layden.
It’s also worth noting that, as the Spurs did with Leonard, the Wolves may prefer to send Butler to the Eastern Conference. Marc Stein of The New York Times has reported multiple times that Minnesota isn’t eager to help the Rockets create another Western Conference super-team.