The Houston Rockets are looking to add another star to this roster and are particularly focused on Jimmy Butler. Based on his history, is Butler really someone the Rockets should be seeking to add to this roster?
By now, you’ve heard that the Houston Rockets are seeking to add Jimmy Butler, as they see this season as their opportunity to bring a title back to Clutch City. I’m not sure that’s the best move for the Rockets for a variety of reasons.
For starters, a lot would have to happen for this to even go through. The Rockets are hoping Butler will tell the Sixers he is leaving, putting Philadelphia in a position where they will be forced to trade him or watch him walk without getting anything in return.
On the court there is no question what Butler brings to the table, as he’s a 4-time All-Star and has been named to several all-defense teams. But the issue is what he brings to the locker room. When Butler was in Chicago, he was the one who publicly called out his younger Bulls teammates through the media. That’s not exactly the best way to lead the troops given Butler’s status as a veteran on a young Bulls team.
When he was shipped away to Minnesota, it seemed like he would be the missing piece on a team with young assets like Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. However, this didn’t last very long as Butler was only in Minnesota for a little longer than one season. He feuded with Anthony-Towns and Wiggins and also called them out publicly.
In addition to that, he clashed with teammates and the front office in the infamous practice in which he expressed frustration with not being traded up to that point. He expressed frustration with then-coach Tom Thibodeau playing him 41 minutes.
Even though he was only on the Sixers for roughly half of the season, that didn’t stop him from clashing with the team also. It was reported that Butler had an issue with coach Brett Brown, leading Brown to downplay the issue. In fact, Butler admitted he’s difficult to coach. On the JJ Redick podcast, Butler stated, “Now, first of all, I have a for-real problem with authority. When somebody’s telling me what to do as a grown man, I have a problem with it.”
Granted, Mike D’Antoni isn’t necessarily known for being an enforcer (actually quite the opposite), but it seems like he would need to be with a roster of three alpha males between James Harden, Chris Paul and Jimmy Butler. Considering the fact that Butler doesn’t respond well to authority, how will he respond when Chris Paul or James Harden challenge him?
Although Butler is a dynamic two-way guard, I’m not exactly sure he is what the Rockets need. As currently constructed, the Rockets are the only team in the West with deep playoff experience who will be able to retain their entire core. In order to acquire Butler, they would obviously have to break up their core and would be left with very little outside that trio. How will Butler respond when the Rockets need him to play heavy minutes?
There is certainly no question of the value he brings on the floor but off the court Butler has me concerned.