The Minnesota Timberwolves have told the Houston Rockets that they will not trade away Jimmy Butler unless Eric Gordon is apart of the deal.
On Friday, the Rockets made a trade offer to Minnesota for Jimmy Butler that included four first-round draft picks.
On Saturday, Minnesota countered that offer, telling the Rockets they wouldn’t trade away Butler unless Houston included Eric Gordon in the deal, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
The Wolves are shooting for a playoff spot. They want players that can play a big role in helping them achieve that goal this season, not a package centered around future assets.
The Wolves have limped to a 2-4 record so far this year. The talent pool in the West is even deeper this season, as the Nuggets, Lakers and Grizzlies could all potentially make the postseason after coming up short last year. With all of the dysfunction surrounding Minnesota’s organization, it’s hard to see how the Wolves could make the playoffs with Jimmy Butler, let alone without him.
On Friday, I explained why four first-round draft picks, along with Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss, was a fair deal for Jimmy Butler. However, now that Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins have a few years in the league under their belt, the Wolves don’t want to continue to use youth as an excuse for finishing towards the bottom of the standings. They want to win now.
In that case, Houston should adjust their offer to include Gordon, a filler and two first-rounders for Butler. Gordon can start at shooting guard for Minnesota and he’ll give the Wolves, who are 19th in 3-point field goals per game, some much-needed floor spacing.
In any case, Butler probably won’t get dealt in the immediate future. According to ESPN, Wolves owner Glen Taylor plans to seriously enter trade negotiations for Butler 10 to 15 games into the season. Also, Marquese Chriss, a potential filler in a trade, can’t be dealt in combination with other players until Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Butler will enter free agency next summer, so the Wolves will have to send him somewhere before the trade deadline in February or risk losing him for nothing. Hopefully, Minnesota decides to accept a fair deal with Houston and send Butler to the team he grew up rooting for.