The Boston Celtics have made multiple attempts to trade for Chicago Bulls’ forward Jimmy Butler, and Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is expected to try again before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.
The Celtics tried to trade for Butler at the deadline last season, and they unsuccessfully tried again during the 2016 NBA Draft. Reports surfaced earlier this month that the Bulls weren’t interested in trading Butler this season, but that could change since the situation in Chicago is declining. The Bulls are 24-25, and rival executives believe the Celtics are still contenders for Butler, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
“There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline,” Johnson wrote. “The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets — Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets’ first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 — the teams discussed then.”
The Celtics are in position to have the top pick in this year’s loaded NBA Draft, which could be the anchor for a Butler trade. Boston also has several assets, such as the aforementioned Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley. Butler would make the Celtics immediate threats to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East, but Boston will still have to give up a substantial amount to land Butler since he could sign with Chicago for more money when his contract expires in 2019.
Ainge has proven in the past he is willing to make big deals if he thinks it can help his team win a title, so this is worth monitoring over the next few weeks.
(h/t NBC Sports)