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REPORT: Rockets Will Pursue Jimmy Butler Sign And Trade

The Rockets would likely have to part with Eric Gordon and Clint Capela

June 25, 2019 - 7:15 pm

Houston (SportsRadio 610)- The Rockets will pursue a sign and trade deal with Philadelphia 76ers forward Jimmy Butler when NBA free agency begins Sunday according to a report from ESPN.

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Butler, a Tomball native, was linked to the Rockets last fall before he was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to Philadelphia, and has reportedly been in contact with James Harden this offseason.

Since the Rockets are over the cap, the team would have to match Butler's salary in a trade, meaning Eric Gordon and Clint Capela would have to be shipped out, and because the Sixers already have Joel Embiid, a third team would be needed to take on Capela, who just completed the first year of a five-year, $90 million contract. Gordon can become a free agent after next season.

A four-time all star, Butler averaged 18.7 points in 65 games last season. That number rose to 19.4 in the Sixers postseason run that ended on Kawhi Leonard's buzzer beater in game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. 

Butler, who will turn 30 in September, could opt-in to the final year of the five-year deal he signed with the Chicago Bulls in 2015 and forgo free agency like Chris Paul did two years ago, making a trade easier to complete, but ESPN reports he has no interest in doing that.