According to a recent report, the Houston Rockets are trying to get creative in order to complete a trade for Jimmy Butler, who recently requested a trade from the Timberwolves.
Daryl Morey and the rest of the team is trying to complete a trade that would send Jimmy Butler to the Rockets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Last week, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported that Butler was uncertain of his future in Minnesota and that he had requested a trade from the team. Although, Tom Thibodeau was initially reluctant to trade his star forward, the Wolves appear to be taking calls for Butler from other teams.
Miami is very interested in acquiring Butler according to Woj and the Clippers, Nets and Suns have also reached out to Minnesota. On Thursday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Minnesota’s asking price for Butler is too high for other teams.
ESPN Reporting w/ Zach Lowe: Minnesota’s asking price for Jimmy Butler remains too steep for teams. Minny seeks quality vets/top prospects/future assets/cap relief. Too high a price for interested teams, including Miami. Sources are skeptical of Thibodeau’s desire to make deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 27, 2018
As seen in Woj’s tweet, Minnesota is seeking some combination of experienced veterans, prospects, future draft picks and the willingness to take on an unfavorable contract in exchange for Butler.
The Wolves still seem to be somewhat reluctant about trading Butler. Last season, Minnesota was 37-22 with Butler in the lineup and just 10-13 without him. Butler also led the Wolves to their first playoff appearance as a franchise in over a decade. It’s clear that Thibs doesn’t want to coach a team that isn’t in contention for a playoff seed, so if they make a deal, they obviously want a sizable haul in return.
Although, the Wolves will eventually have to lower their asking price. Jimmy Butler wasn’t present during Minnesota’s Media Day on Monday and he’s not expected to be on the court at training camp. Butler will also be an unrestricted free agent next summer and it is almost certain that he would leave Minnesota with nothing in return. Not to mention, Butler’s frayed relationship with stars Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins would cause a lot of awkwardness and tension in the locker room.
Chris Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela are untouchable, so if the Rockets were to make a trade for Butler, they would almost certainly have to include Eric Gordon. P.J. Tucker could also be in the mix, as could Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss and Michael Carter-Williams. Keep in mind that there are some temporary restrictions on trading players that Houston recently acquired over the summer, but at this pace, Butler could be on the trading block for a while.
Also, Butler is eligible for a five-year, $190 million deal if he is traded to a new team and re-signs with that team. Whereas he’s only eligible for a four-year, $141 million deal if he signs with a new team as a free agent.
Some people are worried about Butler bolting in free agency and leaving Houston empty-handed if they were to make a trade for him. But what’s not to like about playing for a well-run organization that is competing for a title every year? And if that isn’t enough to convince him to re-sign with Houston, there are about 50 million other reasons that should do the trick.