Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey really wants to trade for Jimmy Butler, and he’s reportedly making an offer that proves it.
Jimmy Butler trade talks had stalled, but they came roaring back to life on Thursday night as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Houston Rockets put four first-round picks on the table in an offer to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Even though the Rockets project to be a good team for some time with James Harden and Chris Paul around, four first-round picks is an unheard of price for a player, especially one who is already 29 years old. In addition to the picks, the Rockets would have to include players as well, for salary-matching purposes with Butler if nothing else.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe added a bit of reporting to the story as well, as he tweeted that Houston will be able to include either Marquese Chriss or Brandon Knight as part of a larger trade on October 31, the two month anniversary of the trade that brought them to Houston. The CBA dictates that the Rockets could only trade them each individually before that date.
This offer seems to blow anything else that was previously on the table for Butler out of the water. The biggest reported offer thus far was Josh Richardson and a first-round pick from the Miami Heat, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein. Richardson is a promising young player, but he and one pick pale in comparison to some Rockets players plus four minimally protected first rounders.
The situation isn’t identical because Butler is younger, but this Godfather offer is reminiscent of when the Brooklyn Nets gave up multiple first-round picks for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. If this deal does go through, Morey better hope it ends up fairing better than Brooklyn’s ill-fated trade.