After a day of rumors that the Wolves were still making excessive demands of teams inquiring about Jimmy Butler, and questions about whether Tom Thibodeau was actually interested in making a trade, news came last night that perennial star-seekers and title contenders the Houston Rockets had re-entered the fray and were pushing hard for the Butler deal.
Apparently their offer would include shooting guard Eric Gordon as the centerpiece, and likely would also include P.J. Tucker. (The Wolves might also try to include a Gorgui Dieng for Brandon Knight swap as part of the deal.)
This is...underwhelming to say the least. Gordon is 30 years old and has two years left on his deal for a total of about $27M. I’m not sure what that gets you in the long run, though it might help them stay competitive in the short-run. He’s been somewhat injury prone in his career, though has missed only 20 games combined over the last two seasons.
Gordon really only flourished, however, once he got to Houston in a system designed to take advantage of his skills. The same thing won’t be true with the Wolves. He’ll still help the three-point shooting, of course, but it seems unlikely he’ll get north of 10 attempts per 36 minutes as he has the last two seasons with the Rockets.
Another concern is what motivation Gordon (and any other Rockets) would have moving, on the eve of the season, from a true title contender to...a team that isn’t that. I’m not suggesting these are not professionals, but they are also humans, and that kind of move can be jarring when you’ve been part of building something to the brink of ultimate success.
The Rockets are not a particularly appealing trade partner, and hopefully their interest will spur other teams to improve their offers.
We’ll see how today unfolds.