The Rockets seem to have a backup plan if they don’t land Jimmy Butler.
Houston’s top priority this offseason is reportedly acquiring the wing in a sign-and-trade with the 76ers. But, the Rockets are prepared for other scenarios.
Houston may target some combination of Danny Green, Jeremy Lamb, Al-Farouq Aminu, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez and Kevon Looney if Butler chooses to return to Philadelphia or heads elsewhere, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites an unidentified source with knowledge of the team's plan.
Lamb had a career-year last season with the Hornets while Green knocked down 45.5% of his shots from behind the arc as the Raptors took home the championship. Aminu is a versatile defender who can play either forward position.
Jordan has regressed in recent seasons, but still can protect the rim and rebound. Lopez can stretch the floor from the center position and Looney became a reliable contributor with the Warriors in 2018-19.
The Rockets have been under scrutiny this offseason as a report surfaced that said guard Chris Paul requested a trade because his relationship with star James Harden was “unsalvageable.” Paul, however, denied that report earlier this week.
“I never asked for a trade,” Paul said Sunday, via the Houston Chronicle. “I never demanded a trade. … I’ll be in Houston. I’m happy about that. I’m very happy about that. I’m good.”
The Rockets finished 2018-19 with a 53-29 record but fell to the Warriors in six games in the Western Conference semifinals. Golden State has eliminated Houston from the playoffs in two straight years.