The Houston Rockets appear to be searching for the third piece to their All-Star trinity, making an offer for Jimmy Butler today that included four future first-round draft picks, according to ESPN. This is the latest development in a rocky trade journey for the 29-year-old Minnesota guard, who was recently booed by fans at the Timberwolves’ home opener for his bluntly-expressed desire to be traded, and for a controversial blowup at practice.
Wing Players Wanted
With the departure of wing staples Luc Mbah A Moute and Trevor Ariza this summer, the Rockets are in need of some solid wing players to fill the gaps. Butler would be a certain asset, averaging nearly 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in the regular season–but there is concern about Houston potentially selling off their future for a chance at beating the Golden State Warriors this year.
“Houston is all in on trying to win a championship with this core of veterans,” said Adrian Wojnarowski. Woj also said that it is expected that Miami will also continue to court Butler, even after some tension and uncertainty around that potential deal.
It seems that Houston is willing to bet their future on an expedited title run against the Warriors, and based on how these trade talks have been going, a bold deal is all that will get the job done. If the deal is made, their next concern will be convincing Butler to stick around long-term.
Reactions to the Potential Deal
There have been mixed reactions to the idea of Butler joining the Rockets squad, who made an impressive title run last season led by MVP James Harden and veteran point guard Chris Paul. They are looking to build, and to make the best of their contracts with both Harden and Paul, and talented center Clint Capela.
Some Houston fans are unconcerned about the loss of the picks for Butler, saying that, historically, Houston hasn’t done much with first-round picks anyway. At the very worst, Butler would join the team for a promising title run and then leave, which isn’t so bad when you think about it.
Others are convinced that Houston has embarked on a fool’s errand, jeopardizing the franchise’s entire future in pursuit of the Golden State juggernaut.
Butler’s trade to Miami would certainly be news, and it will be interesting to see if and how they counter. But with the competitive drive that Butler has–a drive that has somewhat led to his conflict with the Timberwolves–imagining him alongside the reigning MVP and the ever-intense Chris Paul is a picture that makes sense.
Butler would be as much of a weapon for Miami as anybody, but when it comes to the Houston deal, it seems as though most people are thinking the same thing:
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