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Houston Rockets: How realistic is a Jimmy Butler trade?

By Michael Knight
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 21: Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets defends Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated 121-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 21: Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets defends Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated 121-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Throughout the offseason, there have been lots of stars changing teams and stars linked to the Houston Rockets. Can one upset star make his way to the team?

The Houston Rockets and Jimmy Butler have been linked in rumors for quite some time. Quite a bit of this has to do with the fact that he is from the Houston area, Tomball more specifically. It also has to do with the Warriors getting another star this offseason and the fans want the Rockets to get another as well to stay competitive.

Jimmy Butler has shown his frustration towards the Timberwolves this offseason to the point of where he asked for a trade yesterday. That led many fans to want Jimmy to be trading here to Houston.

This, of course, would be incredible. How realistic is a Jimmy Butler trade for the Rockets, though? Let’s take a look:

The realism

The desire to be here

Jimmy Butler grew up a Rockets fan. While that certainly doesn’t mean that he would want to play for the team now, it also doesn’t hurt that he has that instant connection from being from the Houston area.

From what it seems through the rumors this summer, Jimmy’s eventual goal is to end up on a team with Kyrie Irving. As the Rockets have both Chris Paul and James Harden for the foreseeable future, that is not going to happen in Houston.

Butler is rumored to be desiring a trade to three teams in particular, but one especially. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, those teams are the Brooklyn Nets along with the LA Clippers and New York Knicks. The Clippers seem to be the main destination that Jimmy wants.

That doesn’t mean very much, though. Kawhi Leonard wanted to be traded to the Lakers or Clippers, and he ended up in Toronto. Without a no-trade clause, Jimmy Butler is at the discretion of the Timberwolves and who can give them the best deal.

Can the Rockets give them that deal?

None of the teams previously listed have fantastic assets that they would be willing to trade nor that the Timberwolves would want. The Rockets can put out an offer that includes some of the younger players + Eric Gordon + a first round pick. They can throw in Nene or P.J. Tucker‘s to sweeten the pot as well.

Those players…will probably not make it happen for the Rockets, unfortunately. It took a star and a great role player for Toronto to get Kawhi Leonard this offseason, another great player on both ends. When healthy, Kawhi is better of course, but it will still take more than the Rockets likely can offer.

That hurts to say, as I’d love to see Jimmy Butler in the lineup with the Harden and Paul. I’m not giving up hope yet, though, because Daryl Morey is an actual magician that could make a deal if needed. We’ll see what happens in the next week because the Rockets will surely be active in these trade talks as per usual.

Next. 3 things the Rockets can do to increase their championship odds

If he doesn’t get traded to Houston, maybe he can go to the Eastern Conference. They certainly deserve more star power over there.

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