Report: Rockets want Jimmy Butler in sign-and-trade deal
The Houston Rockets see an opportunity to go for a championship next season with the Golden State Warriors dealing with injuries and are trying to pull off a big move this summer.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets are trying to convince Butler to persuade the Philadelphia 76ers to work a sign-and-trade deal with them.
A report last week said that the Rockets were expected to make an aggressive pursuit of Butler. Given the Rockets’ lack of salary cap space, many wondered how exactly they would make such a pursuit. But Woj says their effort would be to have Butler ask Philly for a sign-and-trade with Houston.
The Rockets could let the 76ers sign Butler to a larger deal using his Bird rights and then take on his contract, potentially offering them Clint Capela and Eric Gordon to make the salaries match in a deal.
Though the Rockets’ plan sounds dandy, the big question is whether Philly would have any motivation to make such a deal. They’re reportedly prepared to make a big effort to try and retain Butler. If Butler wants to leave, they might prefer to use the available money to re-sign Tobias Harris and/or JJ Redick rather than take on Capela, Gordon, or anyone else Houston offers. In that case, Butler would be able to sign elsewhere, but not with Houston due to their lack of space.
The Rockets would require cooperation from the Sixers to make this happen, and there’s no reason to believe they would get it.