The Houston Rockets are getting serious about their potential pursuit of Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler. The Rockets are shopping Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, and PJ Tucker to teams with cap space according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
Reporting w/ @ZachLowe: Houston’s offering Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker individually to teams w/ space to absorb salary. Rockets trying for best available first-rounder for any of those three, hoping to redirect pick to Philly in pursuit of Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2019
The Rockets are trying to gain multiple first-round picks to make any trade more enticing for the Sixers. Moving salaries elsewhere for Butler could also deliver Philadelphia a large trade exception that it could use in acquiring a player over the course of the next year.
Even with the Houston Rockets trying to move pieces with an eye of acquiring Butler, Philadelphia and Butler have yet to express any interest in wanting to go their separate ways. The Sixers are still confident in being able to sign the star to a long term deal when free agency opens up. There will also be stiff competition elsewhere around the league with multiple teams trying to pair Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler together according to SNY’s Ian Begley.
Butler and the 76ers made a strong impression in the playoffs after losing a tough 7 game series to Toronto. The high-level drama Butler normally carried with him in Chicago and Minnesota also seemed to subside in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see if Butler would want to walk away from a strong playoff contender in the east to make the move out west. Especially given the drama history with both Butler and the Houston Rockets.