NBA trade rumors: Rockets won't deal Clint Capela until they potentially secure Jimmy Butler

The Rockets could be getting closer to a big move.

Houston has found a willing trade partner for big man Clint Capela, according to a report from the New York Times, which cites an unidentified source familiar with the team’s thinking.

The Rockets won’t part with Capela until they’re sure they can get Jimmy Butler from the 76ers, that report states. An earlier ESPN report suggested Houston has been planning to “push” Philadelphia into a sign-and-trade for the 29-year-old wing, and it might actually be interested.

The Rockets don’t quite have the funds though, and are reportedly making Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker available alongside Capela in an attempt to open up cap space for Butler.

Butler averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 55 games for Philadelphia in 2018-19 after being traded by Minnesota. His vital clutch factor and versatility as a defender helped the 76ers reach the second round of the playoffs before they fell to the Raptors in seven games. He declined a player option worth more than $19 million for 2019-20.

Capela on the other hand averaged career highs in points (16.6) and rebounds (12.7) last season and has four years left on a $90 million contract.

Houston is trying to upgrade after it was eliminated from the postseason by the Warriors for the second straight year, but it won’t blow things up unless it’s certain it can bring in an All-Star caliber player.