After an up-and-down stint in Philadelphia, NBA star Jimmy Butler hit 2019 free-agency with the doors wide open.
Multiple teams, including the Rockets, were all vying for his services in June until he eventually made his choice to sign with the Miami Heat. But, as is common with Butler, there seems to be more behind the story than originally thought.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon claimed on Thursday’s edition of colleague Brian Windhorst’s Hoop Collective podcast that Butler apparently “ghosted” Houston in this summer’s free agency period in the moments leading up to his decision to join the Heat.
“They had trades lined up, I don’t know the teams (or) the destinations, but they had trades lined up for (Clint) Capela and (Eric) Gordon. They were ready to pay Jimmy Butler. They really liked their chances and then suddenly, Jimmy had other thoughts.”
The idea of Jimmy Butler teaming up with James Harden on the Rockets is interesting. With James’ offensive repertoire and Butler’s particular “roughrider,” two-way playstyle, it would certainly contrast anything the Rockets have had the past few years.
It would have brought more focus on the defensive end and could have resulted in great things for the team.
But, for whatever reason, he ignored their calls in the end and elected to head to South Beach. And, considering where they are in the standings, it seems he may have made the right call.