Boston Celtics have been unsuccessful in their pursuit of Chicago Bulls all-star Jimmy Butler and Sixers center Jahlil Okafor on several occasions this year. However, they are still not giving up.
Prior to last month’s draft night, the Celtics reportedly offered a haul of Nerlens Noel or Okafor along with Robert Covington for Boston’s No. 3 pick. However, Celtics declined the offer and surprisingly picked Jaylen Brown with the pick.
On Tuesday, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reported that Celtics dealt a blow to their chances by drafting Brown since both Sixers and Bulls were keen on Kris Dunn, who fell to No. 5 in the draft to Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jimmy Butler, Jahlil Okafor still available
“Jimmy Butler and Jahlil Okafor are said to be still available, but getting them now won’t be as easy as on draft night when Chicago and Philadelphia, respectively, both coveted the No. 3 overall pick so they could take Providence’s Kris Dunn,” wrote Bulpett.
Even though most Celtics fans have given Brown a lukewarm response since draft night, the report added that the organization was invested in the former California standout. “The feeling here is that the Celtics and their fans will be very happy with Jaylen Brown even early on, but Butler and the subsequent recruitment of Horford would have made the club a favorite to reach the Eastern Conference finals,” added Bulpett.
A Big Three of Al Horford, Jimmy Butler and Isiah Thomas would have surely posed a threat to the Cavaliers. But the question is: who can Celtics offer to Chicago for Butler?
What can Celtics offer?
The Celtics and Bulls have engaged in numerous trade talks for Butler since the February 18 deadline. The Boston Herald has reported that Celtics offered two 2016 first round picks (which fell to No. 3 and No. 16) besides a few other assets to the Bulls before the deadline. The Bulls were reportedly not interested unless Celtics included Jae Crowder and/or Avery Bradley to the deal.
A day before last month’s draft, the Celtics were reportedly willing to include Crowder in the deal but Bulls upped the offer by demanding for Bradley, too. Clearly, Celtics GM Danny Ainge wasn’t willing to be pushed around and decided to end the discussions.
Can Danny Ainge pull off a miracle and land Jimmy Butler ahead of next season?