Earlier in the week, the Houston Rockets reportedly made another attempt to trade for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler by offering four draft picks and two injured veterans. However, the latest from the NBA rumor mill suggests that the Timberwolves still aren’t showing any interest in the Rockets’ proposed trade package.
In a tweet posted on Friday morning, Shams Charania of the Stadium reported that per his sources, the Timberwolves are “showing no inclination” to accept Houston’s latest trade offer for the 29-year-old Butler. This marks the latest instance in which Minnesota has reportedly turned down a serious offer to acquire the four-time All-Star wingman, who requested to be traded in the weeks leading up to the 2018-19 NBA season.
As reported on Thursday by ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets offered to send four future first-round draft picks as part of the package. While his report did not name any other players included as part of the potential deal, Charania added that the offer also included recently acquired point guard Brandon Knight and power forward Marquese Chriss, according to the Sporting News. Knight and Chriss arrived in Houston in August via a trade that sent forward Ryan Anderson and rookie guard De’Anthony Melton to the Phoenix Suns, but are currently nursing injuries and do not have any definite return date at the moment.
In an analysis of the Houston Rockets’ rumored trade package to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves, Yahoo Sports‘ Ben Rohrbach wrote on Thursday that Minnesota was justified in refusing the deal. He noted that the Rockets’ future draft picks will likely be late-first-round choices due to the fact they have all the key players who helped the team make the Western Conference Finals last season. Furthermore, Rohrbach pointed out that Chriss and Knight wouldn’t make for good veteran additions either, because the former has yet to live up to his potential as a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, while the latter has consistently dealt with injuries for the past few seasons.
“While the foundation of the trade from Houston’s end — four first-round picks and a pair of once-promising players who presumably still haven’t hit their primes — looks sexy at first glance, the Wolves see two injured players and four picks that may never pan out,” Rohrbach opined.
Despite the drama surrounding his trade request, Jimmy Butler has played well in four games for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, averaging 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists for the team. He has two years remaining on the five-year contract he originally signed with the Chicago Bulls in 2015 but can become a free agent in the summer of 2019 if he chooses to opt out of his current deal.