Come the free agency window this summer, and Jimmy Butler will become an unrestricted free agent. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets are the two teams currently in for his signature, with the prior having the ability to hand Butler a more lucrative deal.
Rockets to push Sixers to a Sign-and-Trade
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets will push the Sixers to a sign-and-trade deal for Jimmy Butler. The Rockets do not have enough salary space to afford Butler, so instead, they will have to leverage the Sixers’ threat of losing Butler for free (to a team with enough cap space) and try and motivate them into a trade.
Currently, the Rockets are weighing their options, are willing to move one of Eric Gordon, Clint Capela, or PJ Tucker to find a first round pick to include in any potential deal with the Sixers.
Reporting w/ @ZachLowe: Houston’s offering Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker individually to teams w/ space to absorb salary. Rockets trying for best available first-rounder for any of those three, hoping to redirect pick to Philly in pursuit of Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2019
The Sixers, on the other hand, are pitching an aggressive front to Butler to resign the star, Wojnarowski reports. They have the option of offering a 5 or a 4-year deal, the prior for $190 million or the latter for $140 million.
Rockets faced with the task to retain multiple stars
Jimmy Butler: I want to win.
Jimmy Butler: I want to play for the Heat.
Well which one is it, because it can't be both.
— Justin Termine (@TermineRadio) June 30, 2019
Butler joined the Sixers last November, following a trade that says Dario Saric and Robert Covington go the other way. In his brief spell with the Sixers, he has averaged 18.2 points, 4.0 assists, and 5.3 rebounds.
This offseason is certainly a big one for the Sixers. They need to resign not just Butler but also Tobias Harris. Like Butler, Tobias was a bold an risky move- the Sixers acquired his service from the Los Angeles Clippers, sending 2018 first-round draft pick Landry Shamet the other way. Multiple first-round picks from the upcoming drafts were included in the trade as well.