2019 NBA free agency: Predicting where the top free agents will land

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /
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NBA free agency
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Jimmy Butler: Houston Rockets

The Philadelphia 76ers can offer Jimmy Butler the most money, but where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and right now, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is fanning those flames as furiously as he can. The only group with more “speak it into existence” clout right now is “#FutureLaker” Twitter.

The Athletic‘s Kelly Iko reported the Rockets would be aggressive in pursuing Butler last week, and ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed Wednesday they’d be pushing him to pursue a sign-and-trade scenario that would involve two of the following three players: Eric Gordon, Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker.

If the Sixers feel they’re at risk of losing Butler to a third team in free agency (Houston doesn’t have the cap space to sign him outright), they’d much rather bolster their wing or frontcourt depth with such a trade. It’s no surprise, then, that a source for The Athletic‘s Sam Amick said it was “looking likely” Philly would cooperate with a sign-and-trade if Butler pushes for one.

Bearing all that in mind, and considering that Jimmy Buckets grew up in Tomball, Texas, Clutch City’s highly talented and highly volatile Big 3 of Butler, James Harden and Chris Paul may have already been spoken into existence.