Grade the Trade Idea: Heat deal star to Rockets and reset their timeline

Does trading Jimmy Butler to his hometown help the Houston Rockets return to the playoffs and bring a star to the Miami Heat more in line with Bam Adebayo's window?
Houston Rockets v Miami Heat
Houston Rockets v Miami Heat / Eric Espada/GettyImages
1 of 4

ESPN's Tim MacMahon said the Houston Rockets "want to take a big, big swing in the trade market” this summer. Perhaps they can turn to someone from their own backyard.

Houston native Jimmy Butler is the sort of player who can help take the Rockets to playoffs next season. If the Miami Heat cannot meet Butler’s contract demands and are forced to trade him, the Rockets are flush with young players and assets that could make for a compelling return.

It’s no secret that the Rockets are under pressure to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2020. Last summer’s additions of Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks helped them improve their record by 19 wins but, at 41-41, they still missed the play-in tournament by five games.

The Heat, meanwhile, wrapped up an injury-plagued season by losing to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs in five games. Butler, who played just 60 games in the regular season, missed the entire series with an MCL sprain that he sustained during Miami’s play-in game against the 76ers.

Butler is eligible to sign a two-year, $113 million extension this summer but Heat president Pat Riley did not seem enthused by the idea of negotiating a new contract after the season Butler had during his end-of-season press conference. Questions about Butler’s future have fueled speculation that he could get traded.

In a fake trade outlined by Bleacher Report, the Heat would get a former second-overall pick and the third-overall pick in this draft to help retool the roster.

Houston Rockets receive: Jimmy Butler and the No. 15 pick in the 2024 draft

Miami Heat receive: Jalen Green, Dillon Brooks and the No. 3 pick in the 2024 draft

Would the Heat do this trade? Would the Rockets? Let’s explore both perspectives and grade the trade idea.