NBA Rumors: Rockets’ Eric Gordon A ‘Mandatory’ Component In Any Jimmy Butler Trade Package, Per ‘ESPN’

Will the Rockets be willing to part ways with their star sixth man if it means acquiring the Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star small forward?

Eric Gordon
Tim Warner / Getty Images

Will the Rockets be willing to part ways with their star sixth man if it means acquiring the Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star small forward?

With the Minnesota Timberwolves suffering their biggest loss of the 2018-19 NBA season so far at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, the Jimmy Butler trade rumors are still raging on. Recent reports have suggested that Butler is still being pursued by the Houston Rockets, who, as previously noted by the Inquisitr, are willing to send four future first-round picks and young veterans Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss in exchange for the four-time All-Star forward. But with the Timberwolves reportedly not willing to accept the trade package, a new report suggests that Minnesota is hoping that the Rockets include a far more proven veteran in their offer – shooting guard Eric Gordon.

On Saturday, ESPN reported that per league sources, the Timberwolves did not show interest in the Rockets’ recent trade package because the proposed deal did not include Gordon, who was described as a “mandatory” part of any trade offer for Butler. The Timberwolves made their first trip to the playoffs in over a decade after posting a 45-37 record in the 2017-18 season, and team president and head coach Tom Thibodeau is reportedly trying to ensure that Minnesota gets players who could help the team return to the postseason in 2019.

An 11-year NBA veteran who has played for the Houston Rockets since the 2016-17 season, Eric Gordon has career averages of 16.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and three assists per game. He won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in his first season in Houston and is currently averaging 14.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for the Rockets, who are currently struggling with a 1-4 record.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler saw most of his numbers drop after Saturday’s game against the Bucks, where he scored just four points as the Timberwolves dropped to a 2-4 record. Despite the off-night, Butler is still averaging 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists, and leads the NBA in steals with an average of 3.4 per game.

As further noted by ESPN, the Minnesota Timberwolves are still actively trying to find a suitable trade partner to ship Butler to, and there’s a chance that the team might “seriously revisit trade talks” about 10 to 15 games into the 2018-19 season. But even with the apparent drama behind the scenes, Thibodeau believes that the team needs to show a desire to win despite the distractions.

“Things change quickly in this league. They can change from good to bad real quick, and they can go from bad to good real quick. So we have to make that happen. We have to have a will and a determination,” Thibodeau told ESPN.