Wolves Want Gordon, Tucker From Rockets For Butler

After their latest round of Jimmy Butler discussions with Miami came to a standstill over the weekend, the Timberwolves reached out to the Rockets again on Tuesday morning, a league source tells Stefano Fusaro of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Fusaro, talks between the Wolves and Rockets have yet to advance, since Minnesota wants both Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker in any deal, and Houston is unwilling to put Tucker on the table.

The Wolves’ asking price in negotiations with the Rockets doesn’t come as a surprise. With James Harden, Chris Paul, and Clint Capela sure to be unavailable, Gordon and Tucker are Houston’s next-best assets. Marc Stein of The New York Times suggested last week that the Rockets may have to package both veterans, along with at least one first-round pick, in order to have a real chance to land Butler.

On the other hand, it makes sense that the Rockets would balk at that request from Minnesota. Gordon and Tucker are crucial pieces in Houston’s lineup, and Tucker is an especially good fit in a system which values versatile players who can make three-pointers and defend multiple positions. Having already lost a pair of reliable veterans who fit that bill – Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute – the Rockets presumably aren’t eager to part with another one, plus additional assets, even if it means acquiring Butler.

Fusaro’s report comes on the heels of a Tuesday story which quoted Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta speaking about Butler. Fertitta told SBNation that he and the Rockets would “love to have” the Houston native if the price is right, a comment that seems likely to earn the owner a tampering fine.

Meanwhile, in other Butler news, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN tweets that he has “zero sense” that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor balked at a Heat offer that featured Josh Richardson, a first-round pick, and cap filler. Stein had reported on Tuesday that the Wolves turned down an offer of that nature from Miami.

Wolfson’s tweet doesn’t necessarily suggest that the Timberwolves didn’t receive an offer that included Richardson and a first-rounder — it may simply have been front office executives Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden – rather than Taylor – who passed on Miami’s proposal. Either way, Wolfson noted in a follow-up tweet that he’s not sure he has covered another story where the two sides’ versions differ so much.

While it’s clear the Wolves are still exploring trade options for Butler, the team is also said to be preparing to open the regular season with him still on the roster, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic detailed on Tuesday. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Butler was in the Timberwolves’ locker room this morning, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll join his teammates on the court.

Wojnarowski adds that the Heat are still pursuing a potential Butler trade.

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28 thoughts on “Wolves Want Gordon, Tucker From Rockets For Butler

  1. dtrainriotmaker

    So the rockets make this deal they have no bench except for gerald green . I mean would they be able to get Jamal Crawford for the minimum in free agency ? Idk to be honest no one knows where the heck Butler is going . I still say a deal of thon maker , Tony snell , Malcom brogdon and a pick for butler and deing. Not sure if they can money wise but a team of giannis , Middleton and butler could do damage in the east

      • cba93

        Nene and Micheal carter Williams. Either cp3 or harden handle the ball all 48 so I think it’d be fine. Just don’t have an nba ready power forward

  2. wellyou'rewrong

    That’s it? Why isn’t Houston hitting accept? Tucker isn’t that great geez.

    • FromTheCheapSeats

      For real.

      Tucker is a dog. He’s a really nice piece. But for Jimmy Butler? Come on. Houston’s going to make that deal.

      • davengmusic

        Gut your bench for one year of Jimmy Butler? If they don’t get by Golden State this year, Butler leaves and you’ve got an aging Paul, Harden, Capela and a bunch of trash the year after. Pass.

        • wellyou'rewrong

          They’re not “gutting their bench.” It’s a sixth man they’re apparently willing to give up and an award less 33 y.o. bench player, not the whole bench. And why would he leave his hometown team that is probably giving the warriors a run for their money? And even if he did, more cap space to go after someone else.

          You people are always afraid to make a move. Fun fact this team got worse while the warriors didn’t. Adding a 4x AS and back to back NBAer is >a couple older bench players jeez.

          • chiefivey

            if he left they wouldn’t have “more cap space to go after someone else” because theyre already over the cap

            • wellyou'rewrong

              And that’s a good enough reason to not get him and actually get better and younger before CP3 declines?

              Man yall complancey. I don’t get it

  3. mikey

    If this were for multiple years of course they’d accept but this is basically a one year rental bc they don’t have the cash to resign him so yeah I agree don’t accept.

    • chiefivey

      i believe they would be able to resign him. their tax bill would be outrageous though lol

      • Codeeg

        They’d be able to sign him like they signed CP3, but the tax is exactly the issue with signing him.
        Still they’d have a pretty contentious 1-5 lineup.
        I’d imagine melo would even be the fourth option.

  4. Senioreditor

    Houston is not beating the Warriors with their current team. With Butler…..maybe?

  5. antsmith7

    Tucker is good defensively. But isn’t Butler just as good on defense, but way better on offense?

  6. imindless

    Sadly houston is farther away than they think lol, lost 2 of your best defenders for nothing and added carmelo who is a ball hog iso player. Now trying to add butler to a cast of ball dominant players and yet give up nothing for him is laughable. Still with all this the rockets have no chance against gsw with cousins.

  7. Ptn18

    I think Minnesota called Houston to try and get Miami to up their offer. Read the latest Miami offer will be the best offer Thibs and Taylor will get. They can take it or deal with the distractions they said they don’t want. Like Kyrie and Kawhi, Butler can threaten another surgery and sit awhile. Thibs said he’s willing to make Butler stay the season and get nothing in free agency. I think Jimmy will have to do what Kawhi did last year.

  8. Minn has to decide whether they want rebuild assets or win now assets, as I don’t think they get both for JB at this point in his deal/career. Rockets have to at least consider trading Gordon and Tucker (no pick) for JB. If they want picks, then it’s a different package, but perhaps the Rockets aren’t really the best team for them to trade with.

  9. hopper15

    Rockets can’t afford to pay Butler on top of what they’re paying Paul, Harden and Capela.

  10. x%sure

    The Rockets are thin already, but if they can get Tyus Jones along with Butler, they should be okay and do it. Even just rookie Keita Diop added on would be enough, but they would have to do something about guard.
    Rockets have really relied upon Gordon.

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