Houston Rockets: Team must target Jimmy Butler at all costs

Free agent guard/forward Jimmy Butler, a rumored target of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Free agent guard/forward Jimmy Butler, a rumored target of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets are at the forefront of rumors in regard to acquiring the services of free agent G/F Jimmy Butler. They must pursue at all costs.

Houston Rockets fans — free agency begins in just three days and the team has been in a tizzy of rumors right out of the gate and they’re all centered around trades and acquiring the services of the talented basketball player.  Did you expect anything less this time around?

Nope, I didn’t, although the Houston Rockets have insisted that the bring the same team back, there’s no question that general manager Daryl Morey will listen to offers for some of the assets that he has on this roster.

The Houston Rockets have no cap space going into 2019-20 so fulfilling their needs will take some maneuvering; but if anybody can do it, it’s definitely Morey as he’s always aiming for the fences in putting together creative ways to make this team better.

Here’s the latest conundrum Morey has at hand…

What’s that you may ask?

Morey will be tasked with bringing guard/forward Jimmy Butler to the mix as he’s wanted to acquire him for quite some time.  At this past season’s trade deadline, the Houston Rockets were right in the fray of rumors for his services when he was with Minnesota Timberwolves but it was ultimately the Philadelphia 76ers that won out the rights to his talents.

Now, this thread of enthusiastic conversation is back at the forefront as he has nixed his $29.1 million player option for next season.  Butler is obviously confident that he can get the maximum allowable contract for whoever is the highest bidder.

The Sixers have been mum on their plans but they can certainly offer him more money in a new deal than any other team can.  It’s estimated that they can offer him a five-year, $190 million contract which will pay him roughly $38 million per season in that circumstance.

Can the Houston Rockets afford that?  Not if they want to keep remnants of last season’s team.  It’s realistic that the team could clear Clint Capela ($16M for 2019-20) and Eric Gordon‘s ($14M) contract to pay him at least $30 million per season, give or take.

But if Jimmy Buckets wants more, P.J. Tucker ($9M) will have to be packaged as well in order to bring him in.  But trading away Capela and Gordon should be enough to get the job done.

It’s a delicate situation and it’s honestly prudent for the Houston Rockets to bring back the starting five last season with a tweaked bench.  The Golden State Warriors are wounded and they

More from House of Houston

were the only team standing in the path of the Houston Rockets arduous road to an NBA championship.

If they’re not successful in landing Butler via a sign-and-trade, I’m all for bringing last year’s team back with slight modifications.  They have a better shot than ever to win it all at this moment and their opportunity is wide open.

But I’d love to see Butler in a Houston Rockets uniform and if that’s what it takes, I’m all for it.  We are in times where the window is closing ever so quickly as James Harden passes the age-30 mark and Chris Paul is getting close to hanging up his jersey into the rafters.

The Houston Rockets must do what they can to make this team better and I know Morey is working his darnedest to make that happen.

Three days — keep that in mind.  I’m sure we’ll know well before then what direction this franchise is headed.

Next. Rockets: New uniforms are chic but more could've been done. dark

Until then, let’s hope the Houston Rockets have a bit of carpe diem in their hearts for Butler.

Butler, 29, averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists with a shooting line of .462/.347/.855 in 65 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers this past season.