Just how staggering was the offer?
Though Butler has been trying to force his way out of Minnesota since the offseason, the Timberwolves have held onto him while continuing to field trade offers. The Rockets have reportedly put four first-round draft picks on the table.
League rules prohibit teams from trading more than four first-round draft picks in one deal, and they can not trade first-rounders in consecutive years.
Once Butler returned to the team to start the regular season, owner Glen Taylor made an assurance to Butler that the franchise would trade him as soon as the organization was satisfied with an offer, league sources said. Four picks is the most a team is allowed to trade at one time during a seven-year period.
Despite having a standing trade request, Butler has been putting up his usual strong numbers for the Wolves - 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and a league-leading 3.8 steals per game.
The other major factors working against the Rockets are time and money, as they might not have enough of either to make the trade work. Butler was born in Houston and raised in nearby Tomball, Texas.
Houston brought back most of that team from past year, but lost an important player at the wing in Trevor Ariza and depth like Luc Mbah a Moute. It's also unlikely the team doesn't insist on protection for the draft's top selections, like the picks that netted Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum for the Celtics. Coach Tom Thibodeau wants to get back players who could help the Timberwolves remain in playoff contention while Taylor is more concerned about the draft picks.