The Houston Rockets are planning on pursuing unrestricted free agent Jimmy Butler and recruiting the star to push the Philadelphia 76ers to agree to a sign-and-trade deal, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Rockets' salary cap constraints mean the Houston-area native would need to have both teams facilitate a sign-and-trade to be able to return home. Clint Capela and Eric Gordon - owed a combined $30 million next season - would be the logical Rockets players moved in a theoretical deal.
Butler reportedly opted out of the final year of his contract last week. The 76ers plan to be aggressive in re-signing him, according to Wojnarowski, and can still offer him a five-year, $190-million deal that other teams can't.
Landing a two-way star like Butler would be a major shot in the arm for the Rockets, who appear to be stuck with an aging Chris Paul at the $124 million owed to him over the next three years.
Butler averaged 18.2 points in 55 games for Philly after his November trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves but sometimes appeared out of sync with the ball-dominant Ben Simmons.