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There's A New Free Agency Favorite For Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler standing with his hands on his hips during a game.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 16: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Utah Jazz at the Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Philadelphia 76ers forward Jimmy Butler is slated to get a big payday when he hits free agency this weekend. Though it was initially thought he might stay on the East Coast, the sports books seem to think he may be heading out west.

According to OddsShark, the Houston Rockets have been tabbed as the betting favorite to sign Butler. As of writing, they have even odds to sign the four-time All-Star. Houston has been rumored to be making a variety of moves in order to make way for Butler.

The second-best odds have been given to the Philadelphia 76ers, who he played for last year, at +150. Tied for third are the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets at +800.

The fifth-best odds were given to the Knicks at +900 while the Los Angeles Lakers were given +1000 odds.

A first-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Butler spent his first six season with the Chicago Bulls, making three straight All-Star appearances before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017.

After a fourth All-Star campaign in the 2017-18 season, the Timberwolves traded Butler to the 76ers the following year.

Houston would need to make some serious moves in order to land Butler, as it would require a sign-and-trade scenario. ESPN outlined what the Rockets are attempting:

The Rockets don't have the salary-cap space to sign Butler, so they'd need the threat of the Sixers losing him for nothing to a team with the available room to motivate Philadelphia to make a trade. The Rockets also would potentially need to make this a multiteam deal to satisfy the rules of base-year compensation that would cover Butler's outgoing salary.

The Sixers plan to be aggressive in signing Butler to a new deal, sources said, and they could blunt a Rockets push with a full five-year, $190 million offer at the start of free agency on Sunday night. The Sixers could offer Butler a four-year, $146.5 million deal, too.

Butler had several big games in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, averaging 22.0 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, and 5.6 assists per game in the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Raptors.