NBA: Rockets plan to pursue 76ers' Butler -- report

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jun 26 2019 02:41 PM

Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket against Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jesse D. Garrabrant, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

The Houston Rockets have their sights set on acquiring Jimmy Butler once the NBA free-agency period begins Sunday, according to ESPN.

But since the Rockets don't have the salary cap room to chase Butler as a free agent, the team is hoping to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Butler, who finished last season with the 76ers, is eligible to sign a four-year, $140 million contract as a free agent. The only way Houston could take on that type of salary would be to shed two or three contracts of their own.

The Rockets would like to team Butler with the star backcourt of James Harden and Chris Paul. Houston reportedly made a large offer to the Minnesota Timberwolves prior to the 76ers landing Butler.

Philadelphia hasn't ruled out re-signing Butler to contract of four or five years with the intention of keeping him. The 76ers also could possibly lose fellow forward Tobias Harris and shooting guard JJ Redick as free agents.

Butler, 29, averaged 18.2 points in 55 regular-season games with the 76ers after being acquired in November.

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