Can Jimmy Butler propel the Houston Rockets beyond the NBA stratosphere?
The Rockets are making a “strong push” to acquire the Minnesota Timberwolves swingman in a trade, Mark Berman of Houston television station KRIV reported Thursday via Twitter, citing sources.
Butler reportedly is on the trade block in the aftermath of the trade he requested last week during his meeting with Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau. The Rockets are among the host of teams pursuing Butler and they reportedly are willing to be “creative” in order to find a way to swing a deal.
The Rockets boasted the best regular-season record last year, but lost to the Golden State Warriors in seven games in the Western Conference finals. They added Carmelo Anthony to an already loaded roster this offseason, and the addition of Butler would strengthen their position as favorites to dethrone the Warriors.
Houston already is more than $32.6 million over the salary cap, according to Spotrac. Trading for Butler and adding the final year of his existing contract, his player option for 2019-20 and/or his potential contract extension in a way that complies with NBA rules will be complicated. A deal might even alter the franchise’s on-court plans for the coming season.
But if the Rockets manage to do so, they’ll be more primed to win now than they currently are.