Rockets News

Rockets unwilling to include P.J. Tucker in Jimmy Butler trade talks

By Michael Knight
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 15: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dribbles the ball defended by PJ Tucker #4 of the Houston Rockets in the second half during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on April 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. 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 Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 15: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dribbles the ball defended by PJ Tucker #4 of the Houston Rockets in the second half during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on April 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. 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 Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets have been looking to trade for a particular disgruntled star. They are unwilling to give up one of their best role players, though.

The Houston Rockets, as per usual, are right in the middle of trade talks for star guard/forward Jimmy Butler. The elite two-way player has voiced his displeasure with the Timberwolves organization and done so quite publically.

There has been quite a bit of Butler news to digest so far today, and the day is nigh. One thing that was specifically Rockets-related, though, was that the Rockets are refusing to include P.J. Tucker in their potential deal with the Timberwolves.

Jimmy Butler update:

According to a league source, The Wolves contacted the Rockets again Tuesday morning, after their failed deal with Miami this past weekend. Minnesota was still adamant on receiving Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, but Houston will not put Tucker on the table.

— Stefano Fusaro (@FusaroESPN) October 10, 2018

P.J. Tucker is a hugely important role player for the Rockets, so it is no wonder that they are refusing to include him in a deal. He’s one of those heart and soul guys that would be tough to trade away with Eric Gordon.

Tucker in the preseason

In two preseason games, Tucker has impressed. He really showed out in the playoffs last season, become an elite defender, rebounder and shooter. His contributions were a huge reason why the Rockets were just one win away from the NBA Finals.

Tucker has averaged around 20 points a night during his two games on 9/19 shooting from downtown. While these games don’t mean anything, it’s nice to see him start off well with his rhythm. He will be a key player once again for the Rockets, and they are unwilling to include him in a deal.

Tilman Fertitta said the other day that the team would love Jimmy Butler, but will not trade away unreasonable assets. Tucker is that unreasonable asset.

But wait, there’s more!

The Jimmy Butler saga just keeps on getting worse for the Timberwolves. Today, he finally rejoined the team for the first time. While that sounds like a good thing for Minnesota, it went downhill quickly according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

All-Star Jimmy Butler participated in Minnesota's practice, a session that included him verbally challenging teammates, coaches and front office, league sources told ESPN. Butler was vociferous and emotional at times, targeting Thibodeau/Layden/Towns/Wiggins. Story soon on ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 10, 2018

At one point in a scrimmage, sources said, Butler turned to GM Scott Layden and screamed, "You (bleeping) need me. You can't win without me." Butler left teammates and coaches largely speechless. He dominated the gym in every way. Jimmy's back.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 10, 2018

That’s quite a bit to handle. Butler’s trade value is falling by the minute as he spends more and more time as a Timberwolf. Could this be the perfect time for the Rockets to call and offer a deal that doesn’t include Tucker? Surely, the Wolves want to get rid of Butler as quickly as possible now that he’s doing even more damage to the team.

Next. Who played well against the Sharks?

Minnesota seems to be imploding and I could see Butler gone soon. Will he be a Rocket this week or will he be somewhere else?

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