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Rockets’ interest in Jimmy Butler likely a smoke screen to get Heat to step up offer

jimmy butler

The trade conversations surrounding Jimmy Butler have been relatively quiet in the past few days after the Miami Heat were known to be at the forefront of his services. The Houston Rockets had come out as potential suitors, despite having no cap space to sign him next summer after having signed two starters to max contracts, but according to Ethan J. Skolnick of 5 Reasons Sports, the Rockets might have just been used by the Minnesota Timberwolves brass to make the Heat step up their offer.

“I heard that the last offer [the Miami Heat made for Jimmy Butler] was on Thursday morning. Coincidentally… it was a little coincidental to me that two reports came out of Houston right after the Heat made their final offer. That, to me, strikes me as Minnesota was [leaking] stuff out — that somebody else was interested. Because a couple of those reports on Friday night were like, ‘A deal is gonna get done by midnight.’ We’re sitting here talking on Monday, there’s been no deal.”

The Rockets simply have no assets that the Timberwolves would want that don’t have a “no” attached to them from the get-go. Houston wants to keep its star players and add firepower, and that is something Minnesota just won’t do, given their ridiculously high asking price.

Is there a desire to acquire him? Sure, but there is no clear path to do so right now without disemboweling the entire roster to obtain him in a trade — something that might bring more pain than pleasure to a Daryl Morey-led front office.

“So I don’t think there’s a market for Jimmy Butler right now because the teams that I thought could get really involved here — Philadelphia, I’ve heard they haven’t put Dario Saric on the table, they haven’t put Markelle Fultz on the table. You’re not making a deal without putting those two guys on the table… The Clippers, I’ve heard, have not put Tobias Harris on the table, and I don’t know what else they’re front-lining a deal with. I’ve heard all along [the Clippers/Butler stuff] is overstated.”

Basically, no other team besides Miami has put a serious offer on the table, and even the Heat’s offer has fallen on deaf ears, as Minnesota is hellbent on getting quality veterans, young assets, draft pick compensation, and being allowed to unload a bloated — a delusional asking price for an estranged star that has refused to wear the jersey again.

This trade could easily become a war of attrition until Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor decides to step in and take the matter into his own hands. If that happens, rest assured the front office won’t be the same throughout this 2018-19 season, expect some major changes to be made.

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