Chris Szagola / Associated Press
Despite limited pay cap space, the Houston rockets are expected to be "aggressive in their practice" by “/>
. Philadelphia 76's star Jimmy Butler, according to Houston Chronicle s Brian T. Smith .
Yahoo Sports & # 39; Chris Haynes confirmed what many expected Friday when he reported that Butler would opt out of his contract with Sixers and become an unlimited free agent.
The obvious question is how the rockets could possibly sign Butler, who is likely to have a maximum contract. Houston is entering the offseason $ 16.2 million over the payroll per. Spotrac.
ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in Perhaps Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was open to trading with anyone – including James Harden under just the right circumstances.
In order to realistically sign a high-level free agent like Butler and keep Harden, Morey would have to deal with a combination of Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon.
Yahoo Sports Vincent Goodwill reported Tuesday that Paul had demanded trading after a collapse in his relationship with Harden. Likewise, Harden issued a "he" or "edict" to the nine-time All-Star. Morey then rejected the report:
Jonathan Feigen @ Jonathan_Feigen
Couple things: Paul shares his thoughts, often pointed. Rockets have never made a secret of it as if they could. And he is good at taking it back. Tucker also comes in his face. That's what they do. Secondly, FWIW, Harden / Paul sit next to each other, playing cards on the charter.
Zach Lowe @ ZachLowe_NBA
Just spoke to Daryl Morey. He reiterated that there has been no demand from Chris Paul. "Tweet I said it. Print it. Tweet it twice." https://t.co/oo6ge0Wkop
If it is easy to see why Morey wants to unload Paul and $ 124 million he is due for the next three years. 19659007] Paul's contract will make it difficult to trade him as he missed 24 matches in each of the last two years and saw his performance dipping on the pitch. He averaged 15.6 points and 8.2 helps shoot 35.8 percent from three-point intervals.
Absent trade Paul creating a maximum slot machine will be difficult. Gordon and Capela combine just over $ 28.9 million in 2019-20. Throw in PJ Tucker ($ 8.3 million) and you'll get enough to hold a land free agent, but have to factor in the payroll aspect of the deal.
You also have to ask whether or not to strike the remaining depth of the team to sign Butler In fact, the Rockets do significantly better.
A trio of Paul, Harden and Butler or a mating of Harden and Butler would be extremely heavy. Sixers attempted this approach by acting for Butler, and it constituted another round exit in the playoffs.
As much as Morey might shake things off, the injuries to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant leave the Western Conference wide open by 2020. The rockets must be careful not to overreact to their off-season disappointment and end up taking a step backwards.