The Rockets haven’t given up hope on trading for Jimmy Butler, but they’re planning for the season with their current roster, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. Houston has been among the most persistent suitors for Butler, but hasn’t come close to meeting the Timberwolves’ asking price, which reportedly remains very high.
The Rockets’ front office is skeptical that Minnesota is serious about dealing away Butler, Amick adds. There is a belief that Wolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau still hopes Butler can be convinced to stay despite his public trade request and the ongoing tension in the locker room. This comes on the heels of a similar report out of Los Angeles that the Clippers have tried to make a deal and objections from Miami about Minnesota’s asking price.
There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:
- His teammates are now calling him “Swiss Bank,” but Rockets center Clint Capela insists he won’t be changed by the five-year, $80MM contract he signed this summer, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. A restricted free agent, Capela was hoping to receive a maximum or near-max offer sheet. Although that never came and negotiations dragged on for nearly a month, he wound up with a sizable deal to stay in Houston. “The money is not weighing him down, I can tell you that,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s been great. I think he looks about how he looked halfway through the year.”
- The torn meniscus that is expected to keep Spurs rookie Lonnie Walker out for six to eight weeks is the second one of his career, notes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express News. He suffered the same injury last July before his freshman season at Miami and was ready for the opening game in November. Walker will have knee surgery Monday and a more exact timetable will be set for his return.
- Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic has drawn rave reviews during the preseason, but he needs to cut down on turnovers, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Doncic has given the ball up eight times in 60 minutes of action, with four of those coming on traveling calls. “The behind the back [passes] and all that is good when it goes well,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He threw one of them to somebody over in the second row one time. We’ve got to correct that. He’s adapting to the different ways they call traveling in the NBA. In Europe, they had a different interpretation of it.”