The Houston Rockets plan to recruit free agent Jimmy Butler through a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday.
According to Wojnarowski, the Rockets' "priority" this offseason is joining Butler with James Harden and Chris Paul. While the team does not have the salary-cap space to sign Butler, Houston hopes the threat of the Sixers losing the All-Star forward for nothing motivates Philadelphia into a trade.
In order to give Butler a four-year, $140 million contract, Houston would likely need to also move center Clint Capela and guard Eric Gordon in a deal, per Wojnarowski. Butler could be offered a five-year, $190 million offer to stay in Philadelphia.
After joining the 76ers in November via trade, Butler played in 55 games and averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists with the team.
The Rockets finished the season 53–29 before losing to the Warriors in the Western Conference semi-finals. The Sixers ended the regular season 51–31 and fell to the Raptors in seven games during the Eastern Conference Finals.