Rockets ramp up efforts to trade for Jimmy Butler, reports say

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However, the report adds the Timberwolves wouldn't have the opportunity to immediately use any of the assets acquired in the trade because Chriss and Knight don't have a timetable to return.

The Houston Rockets apparently aren't giving up on their pursuit of Jimmy Butler just yet. Wojnarowski writes that the Rockets are ready to "sacrifice some long-term roster flexibility and go all-in with a legitimate third star" to partner with last year's MVP James Harden and Chris Paul in pursuit of an National Basketball Association championship.

League rules prohibit teams from trading more than four first-round draft picks in one deal, and they can not trade first-rounders in consecutive years.

This year has started out rough as the team dropped to 1-3 after a Wednesday night defeat to the Utah Jazz.

Though Butler has been trying to force his way out of Minnesota since the offseason, the Timberwolves have held onto him while continuing to field trade offers. National Basketball Association rules say that first-round picks can't be conveyed in successive years, and no pick can be dealt farther out than seven seasons.

He can become a free agent at the end of the season, having turned down a contract extension from the Timberwolves over the summer. However, until Butler changes his mind, Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves have to continue to explore trade options. Teams are not allowed to trade first-round picks in consecutive years and can't trade out a pick farther than seven seasons. The team has said that they are committed to trading Butler when they are presented with a satisfactory offer.

However, rules when it comes to protecting picks in this situation are tricky.