Did Celtics lottery win end Jimmy Butler trade talks?
The Chicago Bulls lost their final chance at adding the Sacramento Kings’ first round pick, completing the Luol Deng trade a few years back.
Their chances at landing a top pick in exchange for Jimmy Butler also may have come to an end.
Chicago and Boston have flirted with the idea of Butler for over a year now, with reports stating that the Bulls turned down a deal in 2016. Later in 2017, the rumor swirled that there was a snag due to a player involved in a potential deal.
But after the Celtics won the NBA Draft Lottery by grabbing the No. 1 overall pick, the trade might be dead for good.
Here’s the lede from Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson in his story from Tuesday night:
The Celtics won Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, almost certainly eliminating any interest in trading for Jimmy Butler. The Bulls failed to land a lottery pick. And the one they drafted last year recently underwent surgery.
It makes sense too.
This 2017 NBA Draft is loaded with talent and having the No. 1 overall pick will give the Celtics the chance to add a missing piece to help them overtake the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.
Boston really has the upper-hand in this scenario now. They can draft a player like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball or even Jayson Tatum. There has also been talk of the Celtics pursuing Gordon Hayward as a free agent in the offseason.
It could be one hell of a summer in Boston.
Then there are the Bulls. If the trade talks between the two teams are indeed dead, where do they go from here?
Chicago owns the 16th overall pick in the draft and will have the chance to try and land an impact player.
Someone like Terrance Ferguson or Justin Jackson could be there when they pick but with so many holes on the roster the Bulls need to hit on a first rounder.
The Bulls wouldn’t fully commit to Butler in their end-of-season presser, so they could explore some options.
It’s just difficult to picture a return for Butler that isn’t a top 3 pick come June.