Against the backdrop of increasing confidence that Jimmy Butler could be landing their best free agent target, Thursday's rockets are ready to make their way to the 76's ahead, hoping for the deals needed to signing one of the players on the market
Missiles expect to be "in the mix" for Butler, a person with knowledge of team thinking and said they have stepped up their efforts to settle the deals needed to offer different characters. – and-trade options to happen if it's Butler's choice.
This individual said rockets "feel good" about their chances of signing Butler, but it's too early to have more sense of how he feels. Butler and his agent, Bernie Lee, returned this week from a trip to Brazil in time to meet, starting at 5:00 PM. on Sunday when a free agency starts.
Rockets will have to give up both Clint Capella's centers and guards Eric Gordon in the deals, with rockets hoping to offer either direct trade with Philadelphia or
Forward PJ Tucker is not expected to be part of these scenarios.
Rockets could have hoped to get Butler. in the way they added Chris Paul. Paul joined the last season of his contract to allow Clippers to trade it two years ago. A person with knowledge of Butler's thinking said Butler would become a free agent. to work with Rockets on a deal. The Sixers are considering keeping Butler and striker Tobias Harris, whose top priorities are free agents. next season will exceed an apron of about $ 6 million over the luxury services tax line, which will seriously limit their flexibility. This would also take away many of their own trade exceptions as they would have to drastically recover their depth with relatively limited resources. Although the addition of Butler (30) will give them a long-term star-caliber player for Gordon who enters the last season of his contract, they will also have to take a step back in the center where Capella constantly improves as strength at both ends of the floor.
Rockets will have a middle-level taxpayer exception to be used in a free agency, but you'll probably use it for the best player, they can land independently of their position and look for at least a suitable replacement for Capela. But on June 1
Butler and Rockets star James Harden are particularly close. , two people with knowledge of their thinking. Butler was applauded by Harden in March.
"You may try to deny it, but find a way to get it and make an incredible play for yourself or for someone else," Butler said. – That's what he's playing. That's why he's fun to watch and everyone respects him around the league. "
This feeling is mutual since Rockets believes that Butler will help balance the rotation at both ends of the floor and will be the key in the post-season series."
Although Butler's recruitment was considered the highest priority of Roquetas, they consistently thought they were much more likely to keep their starting five goals by adding one player with an average level of exception
This remains strong, perhaps But on Thursday there was a growing sense, that the hope of seizing Butler has become more viable, which has led to an increase in Despite these efforts to target the weekend arms required for this.
Jonathan.Feigen @ chron.com