The Houston Rockets aren’t afraid of your cap space or collective bargaining agreement rules. If Houston General Manager Daryl Morey wants to make a move for a star, he will find a way to do it.
That’s what we’re seeing at the moment with the Jimmy Butler to Houston rumours from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
He’s reporting that when free agency starts, the Rockets will talk to Butler and gauge his interest in joining the Rockets. If interested, he’ll have to turn to the Philadelphia 76ers and force a sign-and-trade to his new team.
For this to work, the Rockets will have to send back two of Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker. With Joel Embiid already on the roster, it’s most likely Gordon and Tucker for the 29-year-old wing.
However, the Sixers have the ability to offer Jimmy a five year, $190 million deal.
Something I predicted that he’ll sign on Zero US Sports. The fifth-year would be crucial for an injury prone player that’ll be close to 35 years old when that potential deal finishes.
But, if you’re Philadelphia and Jimmy signals that he wants to play for Houston is that the end of the world?
Gordon and Tucker have proven to be great role players on a playoff team that has had deep runs in recent seasons. Gordon could even replace a potential JJ Reddick departure that’s very likely.
You could then pitch your other big free agent, Tobias Harris on more minutes, shots and space to operate.
Last season, 46 percent of Gordon’s shots were catch-and-shoot opportunities per NBA.com/stats, much different to Butler’s 16 percent. Butler also only took 2.7 threes a game, world’s different to Gordon’s 8.8.
This would open up the floor for Ben Simmons who must be allergic to jump shots at this point in his career.
PJ Tucker has proved instrumental to defending the Warriors since the Rockets acquired him, he can switch the pick-and-roll against the Warriors shooters and also guard big forwards in Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
Adding this defensive versatility next to DPoY candidate Joel Embiid would be deadly and let Simmons take his pick of guards and wings to defend.
After all this praise for a sign-and-trade for Philadelphia, why would the Rockets make this trade?
They lose their versatile defender in Tucker, they add another ball handler in Butler to the mix of James Harden and Chris Paul, a relationship that isn’t very rosy, to say the least. Also, Jimmy forced his way out of Chicago and Minnesota because he wasn’t happy, what’s to say he’ll be happy in Houston?
Because Houston GM Daryl Morey wants to add stars.
His mantra has always been, get stars and figure out the problems later. He even tried to get Butler before Philadelphia did, offering four future first-round picks back in October.
Adding Butler to the mix of Harden and Paul will add another element to the roster and give them elite, isolation scoring for all 48 minutes of the game. I’m not sure who plays in the frontcourt next to Capela, but that may be a problem for later on.
In my opinion, in this post-Golden State world in which we live in, if the Rockets simply run the team back they’ll be in prime position to contend. Who is getting in their way in their run to the Finals this season?
It’s a win-win situation for Philadelphia. They believe they have the best starting lineup in the league when healthy, this potential sign-and-trade would only bolster their depth and put the ball in the hands of their stars.
Houston, watch out.