Rockets Interested In Jimmy Butler

Daryl Morey is a wizard.

Jim Rome
June 26, 2019 - 9:24 am
Jimmy Butler

USA Today


As Woj reported yesterday the Houston Rockets are interested in getting ahold of Jimmy Butler. And that when free agency starts on Sunday, they will be recruiting Butler to push for a sign-and-trade with Philadelphia.

Normally, a 53-win team with a perennial MVP candidate looking to add another All-NBA caliber player would qualify as a Woj Bomb. But in this case, it’s more like Woj grenade. And that’s no reflection on Woj, that’s a reflection on the fact that the Rockets really wanted to get him last year during and the fact that Daryl Morey is their general manager.

And Daryl Morey is a wizard.

And I know what you’re thinking already – the Rockets don’t have space under the cap, how can they do this?

And my answer is this: Daryl Morey.

I repeat: Daryl Morey is a wizard. He truly is. There are a lot of good general managers and then there are a few warlocks and he’s one of them. If there’s a way to pull this off, he’ll find it, so don’t you worry about the salary cap stuff.

And here’s the other thing about Daryl Morey. He is competitive as hell. He could’ve done what other GM’s did when the Warriors got Kevin Durant – pointed at Golden State’s roster and said, look, we can’t compete with that. We’ll just wait it out.

Not Morey. He went out to get Chris Paul. Fight fire with fire. He’s not looking to wait out anyone. He wants a championship and he’ll do absolutely everything he can to get it.

And then there’s the idea of Butler with the Rockets and I, for one, could not love this anymore. And I love it in stages.

I love the audacity of the idea. I love the fact that they are looking at the Western Conference right now and see that it’s wide open. And they aren’t content to just run it back. They want to go for the jugular.

Most teams would say, we won 53 games this year and 65 the year before. Let’s stick it out, keep the same roster, maintain continuity and consistency, maybe, maybe make a tweak or two, and see if we can chip away. Not Morey. Not The Rockets. They’re looking to bust through that wall, Kool-Aid Man style.

You think Morey’s seeing the injuries to Durant and Klay Thompson and thinking, we got this? Hell no. He’s seeing those injuries and looking to wrap his hands around their throat and choke them out.

Golden State will be without a couple All-Stars for most of the season, if not longer if Durant leaves? Cool. Well, I’ll just go get another All-Star myself.

And if they get Butler, that would be amazing. Amazing if it works and frankly, even better if it doesn’t.

Because, of course, there is the risk of some chemistry issues. That’s what makes this some awesome and by chemistry issues, I mean something that’s completely explosive.

It’s not like there aren’t already big locker room issues between Chris Paul and James Harden.  Reportedly. Then you throw Jimmy Butler, who has a bit of history with that as well, into the mix. And you have one of the best chemistry experiments ever: shake all those chemicals up and see what happens.

If it does work, it’s incredible. Especially if Morey’s able to keep PJ Tucker in the process. You add another monster perimeter defender next to Tucker and a guy who can give you 20 and 5? I’ll take that. Even if Golden State keeps KD and Klay and gets healthy, Houston would still have an awesome lineup. And even more so when Golden State is vulnerable and the rest of the West is trying to take another step.

Everyone else in the West thinks they can win if Golden State is down, but if Houston gets Butler, they’re obviously the team to beat. And even if they don’t, they might still be the team to beat. 

And if they do get him and it doesn’t work, and they don’t win it all, it will be the best show ever.  Because there’s no way a team with Harden, Paul and Butler doesn’t get it done and then doesn’t implode. If you’re going to fail, you better go out in a blazer of glory; and if this happens and it doesn’t work, the three of them will probably stand at center court, giving each other the hands and throwing haymakers. 

Here’s the thing: we know what Darryl Morey wants. But we don’t know what Butler wants. He might want to stay in Philadelphia. Maybe he likes the role he had there as the veteran leader. It sure seems like he and Joel hit it off and I would truly miss their two-man pressers if he’s in Houston. I know Jo will. That big brother-little brother show was amazing. I’m not sure who enjoyed those pressers more, Jo or me. But I’m probably going to say it was Jo. And we know the Sixers are going to do everything they can to keep him; only way they don’t is if Butler goes to them and says, I don’t want to be here: I want to be in Houston, so rather than risk losing me for nothing put together a sign and trade. I don’t know if that’s what he wants. I just know I want to see it. Because I want to see how it looks if it works. And more importantly, I really want to see how it looks, if it DOESN’T. Awesome if they kill it: more awesome if they don’t and end up killing each other. Make it happen, Darryl. If anyone can, it’s you! And if Butler doesn’t want it, it’s up to you to convince that he should. I’m already onboard: now make sure Butler is.