Adrian Wojnarowski: Story posting soon: The Houston Rockets are making a renewed bid to acquire Minnesota All-Star Jimmy Butler, including four future first-round draft picks in their most recent trade offer, league sources tell ESPN.
Sam Amick: "And then on the other side of that, you're just gonna have teams like Miami and Houston, who are gonna realize they need a little more. Houston's getting off to a tough start, and now these suspensions, it's even worse. So what does that look like down the line, if their record, if they're scuffling? This is a team, in terms of expectations, they are the ones talking about, 'We're the No. 1 contenders for the crown.' That's how they're talking. That's a pretty high bar. So maybe it's Houston putting more on the table than they had before. Maybe it's Miami."
Alex Kennedy: According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, in addition to the Miami Heat, the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are interested in Jimmy Butler. In this snippet from our weekend podcast (audioboom.com/posts/7053994-…), Brian explains why a trade hasn't happened yet: pic.twitter.com/2boyDTn5zP
Marc Stein: Although I still can’t believe that the Wolves didn’t jump on the Heat’s offer headlined by the promising Josh Richardson, Miami continues to be the most likely Butler destination. Yet I must note that rumbles persist about Houston maintaining serious interest in trying to concoct a workable deal structure that convinces the Timberwolves to surrender their All-Star swingman — even though you hear over and over that Minnesota wants to send him East if it sends Butler anywhere, to avoid helping the Rockets establish their own superteam.
Stefano Fusaro: Jimmy Butler update: According to a league source, The Wolves contacted the Rockets again Tuesday morning, after their failed deal with Miami this past weekend. Minnesota was still adamant on receiving Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, but Houston will not put Tucker on the table.
Multiple reports have the Rockets eliminated from contention, despite offering a package rumored to be as big as Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, and several draft picks. The reasoning for Houston being ruled out isn’t because of the deal, but because, reportedly, Minnesota doesn’t want the Rockets to become the kind of juggernaut the Western Conference already has in Golden State. “We already are at [that level],” Feritta says in a phone call. “We’re an improved team over last year based on who we’ve acquired this offseason. And last year, obviously, we’re a game away from the Finals. “We would love to see Jimmy come home to Houston. It’s not a financial decision, it’s an assets decision on our part. We’ve got a great basketball team. We think we’re as good as anybody in the league. We’re not going to give up unreasonable assets, to break up this team, to get Jimmy Butler. But we would love to have him.”
While Houston continues to explore its options in the Jimmy Butler saga and has significant interest in landing the disgruntled Minnesota star, strong skepticism remains that the Timberwolves are seriously dedicated to finding a deal. So long as that remains the case, with so many executives convinced that president of basketball operations/coach Tom Thibodeau still wants Butler to stay despite the uncomfortable nature of it all, then these Rockets will have to prepare as if there is no more help on the way. Translation: The prospect of Anthony playing like a legitimate star again would be welcomed. He has plenty of personal incentive, too, as he’ll be a free agent again next summer after signing a one-year, $2.4 million deal with Houston (Anthony was traded by the Thunder to Atlanta in a three-team deal with Philadelphia, then bought out by the Hawks; he’s still slated to earn the $27.9 million he was owed for next season between the buyout and his Rockets deal).
While Houston continues to explore its options in the Jimmy Butler saga and has significant interest in landing the disgruntled Minnesota star, strong skepticism remains that the Timberwolves are seriously dedicated to finding a deal. So long as that remains the case, with so many executives convinced that president of basketball operations/coach Tom Thibodeau still wants Butler to stay despite the uncomfortable nature of it all, then these Rockets will have to prepare as if there is no more help on the way.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Miami has been the most engaged team with Minnesota on a Jimmy Butler trade. So far, no traction with Clippers and Nets. Houston's tried to be creative in its pursuit. It'll be a challenge -- although not impossible -- to get any Butler deal done without a third team.
September 17, 2021 | 9:03 am EDT Update
Will his fate be the same as Wall’s? Sources with knowledge of Gordon’s thinking say while Gordon hasn’t approached management to ask for a trade, he’s open to moving to a more favorable situation. In meetings between his representation and Houston this offseason, the Rockets communicated they would love to have Gordon stay. “They always know, and it’s definitely not easy for my position,” Gordon says about Houston understanding how he feels. “But my ultimate goal is to just go out there and play, help, show that I’m healthy and gravitate to these guys to get better.”
But Gordon is a consummate professional. He’s going to put his head down, prepare for the season and do the role that’s asked of him. He was part of the group that took a pre-camp trip down to the Bahamas (Wall was not present, according to sources). The Rockets have gone there in previous seasons as a means to build chemistry and lay the groundwork for a grueling season. The stakes are a bit different now, but the goal remains the same. “It was good,” Gordon says of the trip. “It’s always good to get together and play and be around each other. And now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty and figure out chemistry. How can this guy fit here? How can we do things? How can we make each other play at a high level? So that’s the thing, those are the next steps to figure out.”
Gordon played in just 27 games last season, dealing with a knee injury early on and, most recently, a groin injury suffered in March. With training camp less than two weeks away, he’s ready for another go. “Physically and mentally, I’m definitely in a good spot,” Gordon says. “Looking forward to training camp with the team and don’t have to really worry about any setbacks or whatnot.”
Orazio Cauchi: Forward Jarrell Brantley, who was waived by the Utah Jazz, is close to signing a deal with Euroleague side UNICS Kazan, according to a source. Brantley was the 50th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. More on @BasketNews_com
Donatas Urbonas: Mike James’ one-year contract with AS Monaco is worth around €900k, according to sources. My friends from France will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it makes him the highest-paid French basketball league player ever.
Vasilije Micic on offers received during the summer: ‘There were some 90 percent clear offers from the NBA, not 100 but 90 percent about details in the contract. And of course, I didn’t expect any promises like minutes-wise, but a kind of a role with Oklahoma [City Thunder]. And when I realized that Oklahoma was still not sure, because they had actually one and a half months extra with the NBA draft to see how many players they would take and what they would want to do with the trades, for me it was too long to wait. It was too long, especially when I had that offer from CSKA [Moscow]. Of course I spoke with Efes. I wanted to give them priority, if they could offer me something similar. I’m happy that they understood that I wanted to stay here and not leave just because someone said that I had to leave.’
For most of Klay Thompson’s NBA career, the Golden State Warriors often described him as “no maintenance.” Why? Thompson consistently shattered shooting records. He played in nearly every game. And he rarely complained. But after experiencing two season-ending injuries in 2019-20 (torn ACL in left knee) and 2020-21 (ruptured right Achilles tendon), will Thompson prove in the 2021-22 season that he no longer requires such hefty repairs? “I would be optimistic that he’s going to be able to get back and compete at a high level again,” said Dr. Michael G. Ciccotti, director of sports medicine and research at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute and an outside consultant for the Philadelphia Sixers, Eagles and Flyers. “But his ability to perform precisely at where he was before? That is something that only time will tell.”