Jimmy Butler will decline his player option for the 2019-20 season and hit free agency. While there will be several suitors for his services, the Houston Rockets reportedly plan to make a serious run at him. In fact, they could be angling to acquire him in a sign-and-trade deal.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Rockets may need to work out a multiteam deal to get any sign-and-trade done because they’re currently right up against the salary cap. Butler is expected to get a five-year, $190 million max offer from the Philadelphia 76ers. The Rockets can only offer four years and $140 million in free agency.
Here’s more from Woj:
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.
The Sixers plan to be aggressive in signing Butler to a new deal, sources said, and could blunt a Rockets push with a full five-year, $190 million offer at the start of free agency on Sunday night. The Sixers could offer Butler a four-year, $146.5M deal, too.
Butler would be eligible to sign a four-year, $140 million contract on the way to the Rockets, but Houston likely would need to include two of these players — center Clint Capela, guard Eric Gordon and power forward P.J. Tucker — to make the financial deal work, sources said.
In 55 games with the Sixers during the 2018-19 season, the 29-year-old Butler averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 33.2 minutes per game.