NBA Trade Rumors: Celtics Struggling To Find Suitor For No. 3 Pick
The Boston Celtics have been actively trying to package the No. 3 draft pick and other assets for an established star but have been snubbed by potential suitors, according to a league source.Advertisement
ESPN’s Mark Stein reported Tuesday that Celtics “have been rebuffed in their efforts to assemble a sufficiently enticing deal to acquire any of these four prime targets: Chicago Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward and Milwaukee Bucks teammates Jabari Parker or Khris Middleton.”
Prior to February’s trade deadline, Boston made a run at Butler by offering two 2016 first round picks (which fell to No. 3 and No. 16 in the draft lottery) and a few reserve players, according to Boston Herald. The Bulls refused to further discussions without Jae Crowder or Avery Bradley in the mix. According to a source, the Celtics are willing to package Crowder or Bradley with the No. 3 pick but that offer hasn’t excited the Bulls.
“The Bulls, sources say, continue to show little interest in dealing Butler to the Celtics, who previously tried to trade for him before the league’s annual deadline in February,” wrote Stein.
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Celtics to settle for Jahlil Okafor?
According to former Providence coach Tim Welsh, the Sixers are pushing to complete a trade for Boston’s third pick before Thursday’s draft. “Philly has told Kris Dunn’s camp and his agent they are trying to push the buttons to have this happen before the draft. They’ve been in Providence locked in to the city talking to everyone that’s ever encountered Kris Dunn.
“They are putting the full court press on the Celtics to acquire the third pick. It could go down in the next two days, so we’ll see. Boston has the upper hand in knowing what Philly wants,” Welsh said on CSN’s Sports Tonight.
Stein reported that Boston “have resisted pitches” from Sixers who are willing to package either Okafor or Nerlens Noel for the third pick. It’s safe to assume that if Sixers don’t land an all-star caliber player, they would be forced to settle for former Duke standout Okafor.
Gordon Hayward pursued by 4 teams?
The ESPN report also revealed that Boston isn’t the only team pursuing Jazz star Hayward, an unrestricted free agent next summer. “Sources say the Celtics are one of just a number of teams trying to convince Utah to surrender Hayward — Phoenix, which holds two lottery picks (No. 4 and 13) in Thursday’s draft, is another — but the Jazz have been telling interested teams that he is not available.”
The Bucks have also informed Celtics GM Danny Ainge that Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton “are franchise cornerstones and untouchables”.
Will Okafor be a part of the Celtics roster by Thursday? Or Will Danny Ainge pull off a miraculous trade for an all-star?