WOOOOJ BOMB!!!!! The Houston Rockets have reportedly offered 4 first round picks in addition to other assets for Jimmy Butler (via Woj from ESPN). This is the maximum number of first-rounders a team can offer in a trade according to the CBA. This is Daryl Morey saying ''I'm all in''.
The Rockets were the only team last year that said they would increase their risk profile and go after the Warriors. They were a hamstring away from potentially knocking them out and going to the Finals, the closest a team came to compete against the Warriors since Durant signed there. They are trying to go punch for punch, superstar for superstar.
While most teams plan to hit their stride in a few years and wait the Warriors out, Daryl Morey decided it's go time. If an offer like this would be accepted, this would mean the Rockets are sacrificing a significant amount of future flexibility and potential for short-term gains. A starting five of Paul, Harden, Butler, (whoever they don't trade with the picks) and Capela can match up with anyone.
It is safe to assume they would want to keep Jimmy so let's project they give him a long-term deal. This would mean he gets a deal into his mid-thirties with close to or actual max money. This is one of the reasons a lot of teams (76ers) have been reluctant to boost their offers as giving up more makes no sense if you don't sign Butler to a long-term deal once you get him. A player with Thibodeau minutes and known knee issues in his thirties on a max contract will not get you 60 cents on the dollar.
Butler received assurances from the Wolves owner Glen Taylor the team would trade him „as soon as the organization was satisfied with an offer“. The problem in Minnesota is there is no clear leadership to establish what that is. Thibs will surely want players that can impact the game right away while the owner may be more prone to get future assets to build around KAT and Wiggins.
Then there are the protections on the picks. We can assume the Rockets won't be tanking anytime soon. Do you trade Jimmy Butler for four picks in the 20 – 30 range? Some of those may be used to offload Dieng's contract, maybe package them in a future trade...but is that enough? Depends on what the other offers are and do you believe they will get better or worse with time.
This is a game of chicken and Morey just put his pedal to the medal. Will the Minnesota front office or other GM's blink? Who knows how long will this saga last, so all we can do is sit back and have a good time...