Basketball: Houston Rockets renew trade offer for Jimmy Butler, offer includes four first-round draft picks

Minnesota Timberwolves' forward Jimmy Butler passes the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers' guard Jordan Clarkson during the fourth quarter at Target Centre on Oct 26, 2018.
Minnesota Timberwolves' forward Jimmy Butler passes the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers' guard Jordan Clarkson during the fourth quarter at Target Centre on Oct 26, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

(REUTERS) - The Houston Rockets' latest trade offer to the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star guard Jimmy Butler includes four future first-round draft picks, ESPN reported on Thursday (Oct 25).

Other players who might be involved in the talks are still being discussed, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Houston's offer is the maximum number of first-round picks allowable in a trade under league rules.

Pairing Butler, a four-time All-Star, with All-NBA guards James Harden and Chris Paul certainly would boost the Rockets' pursuit of a championship.

Butler has averaged 24.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.8 steals through four games this season.

Butler, 29, requested a trade during the pre-season after and has told Minnesota he plans to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

After not training with the team for much of the pre-season Butler reported for practice on Oct 10 and in an emotional and fiery session appeared to target president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, team-mates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and general manager Scott Layden, at whom he screamed at one point, "You need me. You can't win without me."

He later said in an interview: ""I don't do it for any reason but to compete. All my emotion came out in one time. Was it the right way? No! But I can't control that when I'm out there competing. That's raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest. Inside the lines."