A Heat team spokesperson confirmed to Ira Winderman of the Miami Sun-Sentinel last week that Heat president Pat Riley told the club's players prior to the start of the season that he is "pulling the plug" on trade negotiations involving Butler. "Minnesota was still adamant on receiving Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, but Houston will not put Tucker on the table".
Houston is now dealing with injuries to two starters, both with hamstring injuries.
Houston's push represents a desire to sacrifice some long-term roster flexibility and go all-in with a legitimate third star to partner with All-NBA guards James Harden and Chris Paul in pursuit of a championship.
The lottery protections on picks in this proposed deal would be limited.
Butler, 29, plans to become an unrestricted free agent.
For the Rockets to include a package with four first-round picks, they'd have to be spread out over a seven-year period, as teams are prohibited from trading their first-round picks in consecutive seasons. That's said to especially be the case with ultra-competitive president/coach Tom Thibodeau, who has tried to convince Butler to reconsider his trade request on multiple occasions.
However, rules when it comes to protecting picks in this situation are tricky.
The Rockets likely wouldn't make such an aggressive offer unless Butler agrees to sign an extension with the team beforehand.