Rockets’ ‘first priority’ in free agency is sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler, per report

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The Houston Rockets reportedly want to team Chris Paul and James Harden up with Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade scenario, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday.

It’s a complicated situation, because the Rockets are cap-strapped at the moment.

“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 the Sixers into a trade. The Rockets would also potentially need to make this a multi-team deal to satisfy the rules of Base Year Compensation that would cover Butler’s outgoing salary.”

For a team to go to this length for a player, it highlights just how much the Rockets would value having Butler’s services. This report also would indicate that the reported rift between Paul and Harden is either not nearly as bad as advertised, or was a fabrication altogether.

Needless to say, adding another All-Star to the equation would give Houston a tremendous Big 3 as they attempt to knock Golden State off its perch in the west. Whether it can be done is another matter entirely.

We’ve seen a ton of intriguing rumors circulating as free agency nears. This is one more that should lead to a heck of a flood once players can sign on the dotted line.