The hot rumor during the 2016 NBA Draft was that the Boston Celtics could make a move for Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler.
It never happened.
Instead, the Celtics drafted Jaylen Brown and decided to keep their roster the way it was. That led to a Eastern Conference Finals exit to the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.
With just under a week left before the 2017 NBA Draft, the Butler-Celtics rumors are starting to flare up again.
On Friday it was reported that the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are nearing a deal for the No. 1 overall pick. Here’s what The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported:
The Philadelphia 76ers are engaged in advanced talks to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft from the Boston Celtics to draft Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, league sources told The Vertical.
In the proposed deal, Boston would acquire Philadelphia’s No. 3 overall pick in 2017 in a package that includes a future first from the 76ers, sources said. Philadelphia’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick that was acquired from the Lakers has been part of the discussions, sources said.
Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge has a stockpile of future draft picks and is looking to build up the roster for the future. With the two-best teams being the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics would be better off drafting for the future to make a run.
But could the Celtics be adding draft picks to sweeten a deal for Jimmy Butler? Adam Zagoria thinks so at least:
The Celtics could also be acquiring more first-round picks to deal for Jimmy Butler, per league source.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 16, 2017
This could be the final stand for both teams in a deal involving Butler and the Celtics. Chicago needs to fully rebuild so if they want to trade their star for future assets, now is the time to do so.
With a loaded draft at the top, Chicago could find a new star but they HAVE TO hit on the pick. If they miss, they could set themselves back an additional 5-7 years.
The No. 3 overall pick is intriguing but you have to imagine the Bulls will want a possible No. 1 overall pick too. Boston hasn’t let go of the 2017 one in a deal with Chicago but does have Brooklyn’s 2018 pick which could very well be No. 1 overall again.
If Gar/Pax want to make the big move come Thursday, now is the time to do it.