Even though it sounds like a very unlikely move right now, the Houston Rockets don’t lose the hope to see Jimmy Butler playing with them next campaign. In fact, the Rockets are “extremely confident” in their ability to acquire Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade deal, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
Iko also adds that team sources not only believe that the Rockets have a good shot at Butler but also feel as if they’re in the lead for him at this moment. In order to make this happen, Houston will need the Sixers to be willing to help them, and Sam Amick of The Athletic reports that Philadelphia would likely be open to cooperating if they didn’t have more remedy since the team has a “strong desire” to avoid losing Butler for nothing.
Plus, ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst pointed out on a recent podcast that in order for Philly to actually believe they are in danger of losing Butler for nothing, he must have another team interested in his services, which could be the Clippers. Amick also reports that the possibility of Butler and Kawhi Leonard going together to Los Angeles is a scenario that’s viewed as “increasingly possible” by many.
The Clippers, though, would have to move Danilo Gallinari‘s salary to clear space for a second max player, but there are various people suggesting that Leonard would welcome Butler as a running mate, according to Amick.
This will be a very interesting story to follow in the free agency. If either the Rockets or Clippers land Butler, that move will take them to the next level.