Jimmy Butler, who was nearly acquired by the Boston prior to June’s NBA Draft, could once again be subject to trade talks between the Celtics and Chicago Bulls, per several league sources.
Prior to June’s draft night, there were talks that Bulls demanded a package of the No.3 draft pick (with which Boston selected Jaylen Brown), Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and a few other assets to part with Butler.
However, the Celtics felt Chicago’s asking price was too high and decided to end negotiations.
According to ESPN insider Tom Haberstroh, the Celtics and Bulls could re-engage in talks for Butler closer to February’s trade deadline.
“Jimmy Butler for Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson, the 2017 Brooklyn Nets first-rounder (for which Boston has swap rights) and another first-rounder.
“If the Bulls’ highly-flammable situation combusts in the early going, don’t be surprised if the Celtics make a godfather offer for Butler. The Bulls’ rebuild may be near,” he wrote in a recent insider piece.
Jimmy Butler unhappy?
According to several analysts, the two-way All-Star could find it tough to co-exist with high-usage rate players such as Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, who were both offseason acquisitions.
The Bulls are projected to possibly miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season. And in such a scenario, Butler, who still has three years left on his contract, could want out.
Last offseason, Butler signed a five-year, $92 million contract to remain in the Windy City.
However, he has been subject to constant trade talks, especially after a publicly documented rift with new head coach Fred Hoiberg.
During the summer, Hoiberg said that he was trying to iron out differences with Butler, who is viewed as the team’s franchise player in the aftermath of the Derrick Rose trade.
However, if Bulls enter the All-Star break with a losing record, there is a strong possibility that they trade Jimmy Butler to Boston for young assets.
Remember, Celtics own Brooklyn’s 2017 first round draft pick. With the Nets projected to finish in the bottom half of the East, the Celtics could essentially be parting with a top-3 pick in a loaded 2017 draft class.
With the Bulls looking to enter reset mode, it could be a wise move to part with Butler and start anew.
The question is: Is Jimmy Butler worth sacrificing so many young assets? Seeing as the Celtics are desperate to compete with Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the East, a trade could be their best bet.