It appears a challenger has emerged in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes.

The Houston Rockets will attempt to recruit him once free agency begins, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

If they convince Butler to join forces with James Harden and Chris Paul, they cannot sign him outright.

Since the Rockets are facing salary-cap issues, they would need to do a sign-and-trade with the 76ers to dump salary.

Getting players back could be a possible way to savage a bad situation if Butler leaves.

Forward P.J. Tucker, center Clint Capela and guard Eric Gordon should be players to watch in a trade.

Hopefully that scenario doesn’t happen.

Show him the Money

The Sixers want Butler back and will be aggressive in signing him to a new deal, per Wojnarowski.

They can offer him a five-year deal for $190 million as compared to a four-year deal worth $140 million if he’s offered the max from another team.

It’s obvious the Sixers want to keep Butler around, so it appears they will need to pay up to get him to stay. It’s an advantage they need to utilize.

In addition to offering the most money, the Sixers are a better fit than the Rockets.

Butler has a reputation for being a demanding teammate. He plays hard on both ends and expects others to play like that as well.

With respect to James Harden, he’s approach on defense could present problems in the locker room.

Also, their offensive approach of looking for a three-point shot first doesn’t mesh well with Butler’s game.

He isn’t a high-volume three-point shooter and the Sixers could present him with a better style for his game.

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