PHILADELPHIA -- A week doesn't go by without some report about 76ers swingman Jimmy Butler's possible free agency destinations.
The latest came Friday, when ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Tim MacMahon reported on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast when MacMahon said "The Rockets think they have a chance" at signing Butler.
Butler is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract before the June 29 deadline. The Sixers could offer him a five-year, $189 million contract due to having his Bird rights. Another team can only give him $141 million over four years.
The Rockets would need to create cap space in order to sign Butler to a lucrative contract. However, he could go to the Rockets via a sign-and-trade. The Sixers would sign him to a contract and then trade him to Houston.
Philly acquired the four-time All-Star along with Justin Patton from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick in November. Butler averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals in 55 regular-season games with the Sixers.
His scoring average rose to 19.4 points in 12 playoff games. Butler scored 22 or more points in five of the Sixers' last six postseason matchups.
This is the second time this week that there was a report about the Rockets interest in obtaining Butler. The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that the Rockets intend to aggressively pursue Butler in free agency.
There have also been reports about Butler having interest in going to the Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers if they opt to talk to him.
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