Report: Rockets to pursue 76ers' Butler

By Global on Jun 26, 2019 07:23 AM

FILE - PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on before Game Two of Round One against the Brooklyn Nets during the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 15, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

After coming up short against the Warriors the last two seasons, Houston is reportedly setting its sights on yet another talent upgrade. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Rockets are hoping to arrange a sign-and-trade arrangement that will net them four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler.

The Rockets don't have the salary-cap space to sign Butler, so they'd need the threat of the Sixers losing him for nothing to a team with the available room to motivate Philadelphia into a trade. The Rockets also would potentially need to make this a multiteam deal to satisfy the rules of Base Year Compensation that would cover Butler's outgoing salary.

A potential Butler departure would come less than a year after Philadelphia dealt Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless and a second-round pick to acquire him. Houston, meanwhile, appears intent on making changes even under the weight of its current salary cap situation, which includes max contracts for Chris Paul and James Harden.

In 65 games last season, split between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers, Butler averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.9 steals. In the Playoffs, he upped his numbers to 19.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, while seeing his steals dip slightly to 1.5 steals.

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