The Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed his interest in acquiring free agent point guard Jimmy Butler via a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia Sixers.

Jimmy Butler
Point guard Jimmy Butler of the Philadelphia 76ers against the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the 2019 playoffs. (Image: Getty)

The Sixers were knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual champions, Toronto Raptors. A sick Joel Embiid gutted his way through the series. Jimmy Butler was the only constant through the postseason while many of the other players, especially Ben Simmons (a.k.a. Kendall Jenner’s ex-boyfriend), failed to show up in multiple games.

Butler averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game in the regular season. He stepped up in the postseason with 19.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game.

Harden and Butler?

That notion sounds good on paper to pair Butler in the same backcourt as James Harden.

In theory, it will be difficult due to the team’s finances and a CBA rule. The Rockets do not have enough room to pay Butler. They would have to trade a couple of key players and find a third team to help balance out Butler’s salary number.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “The Rockets don’t have the salary-cap space to sign Butler, so they’d need the threat of the Sixers losing him for nothing to a team with the available room to motivate Philadelphia into a trade. The Rockets also would potentially need to make this a multiteam deal to satisfy the rules of base year compensation that would cover Butler’s outgoing salary.”

At the same time, the Sixers gave up Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a second-round pick for Butler.

They’ve sacrificed a bunch, so they will do everything possible to sign Butler. And if they must let go of him through a sign-and-trade, then the Rockets better have the best deal on the table.

Butler has been linked to the LA Clippers. Doc Rivers’ squad has two max free agent spots available. The first one is reserved for Kawhi Leonard, while the second one has been up for grabs.

CP3 Tension

This is also coming on the news that Harden and Chris Paul had a falling out after complications arose in the playoffs.

On the surface, it was visibly to everyone watch the Rockets in the playoffs that CP3 and Harden butted heads on the philosophical flow of the ball. Harden wanted the ball to flow through his hands on every possession. CP3, more democratic than his MVP-candidate teammate, wanted to share the ball and move the rock around.

Who knows what really went down behind closed doors. Arguments happen, especially among brothers in the bond fighting for dear life in the fever pitch of a battle. The two could see their dust up as a nothing burger, but the press and social media lapped it up.

One person isn’t fooled. GM Morey said CP3 was on the trading block. Now, he is on the prowl for Butler. He’s been wanting him for at least a year. Morey failed to work out a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, when Butler demanded a trade out of the Twin Cities. The Wolves shipped him to Philadelphia instead. But Morey is not about to give up on his super-man-crush.

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