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Jimmy Butler Trade Rumor: Timberwolves Wanted Huge Return From Rockets

The Houston Rockets could have landed All-Star forward Jimmy Butler to join forces with James Harden and Chris Paul, but they weren't willing to deal with key roster pieces to make the deal work.

According to ESPN's Stefano Fusaro, the Timberwolves wanted Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker from Houston in a possible Butler trade, but the Rockets were unwilling to make the latter available.

It's been three weeks now since Butler requested a trade from Minnesota, and even though owner Glen Taylor wanted a deal done in a quick matter (per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski), the four-time All-Star has yet to be moved as the regular season draws closer.

Marc Stein of the New York Times recently reported that the Miami Heat offered Josh Richardson and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves for Butler, but Minnesota rejected. Even though a trade for Butler has seemingly gotten close with both the Heat and Timberwolves, it seems like Minny is having a difficult time finding a team that will meet their high asking price.

RELATED: RUMOR: ROCKETS LOOKING TO ACQUIRE JIMMY BUTLER

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

For Houston, it's understandable why they wouldn't want to part with the likes of Gordon and Tucker. The former was a big part of their offense last season, averaging 18 points per game. Tucker was signed in 2017 free agency and is renowned for his strong defensive skills, and the Rockets simply need him if they're going to compete with the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

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Butler guided Minnesota to its first playoff berth in 14 years last season, but he requested a trade after meeting with management last month. Per Wojnarowski, Butler initially asked for a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks, since all three teams have the cap space to offer him the super max contract.

But there aren't any indications now that those three teams have seriously pursued Butler. Rather, the Heat and Rockets were the ones pushing hard to land Butler most. But a trade has yet to materialize, and it's anybody's guess if one will get done before the season begins.

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NEXT: JIMMY BUTLER TRADE UPDATE: TIMBERWOLVES GIVEN SHORTLIST OF TEAMS HE WANTS TO GO TO

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