Danny Ainge, current Utah Jazz executive, was in the front office for the Boston Celtics for close to two decades. Ainge expressed his desire to trade for a former Chicago Bulls All-Star on the Knuckleheads Podcast.
Danny Ainge is currently an executive with the Utah Jazz but spent eighteen years in the front office for the Boston Celtics. Ainge is renowned for his savvy and bold moves as a general manager especially in his years for the Celtics.
Ainge, a former Celtic himself, appeared on the Knuckleheads Podcast hosted by former NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles to discuss a variety of topics but one answer Ainge gave raised some eyebrows about a former Chicago Bulls star.
The discussion was started after Danny Ainge was asked about the best trades he made in his time as an executive. This is what Ainge had to say on the topic.
Danny Ainge revealed he tried trading for Jimmy Butler but Chicago wanted the draft picks that ended up becoming Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) August 15, 2023
“Some of the best trades I ever made were the ones that I wasn’t able to make,” Ainge stated. “You know, like I was trying to get Jimmy Butler from Chicago when I was in Boston, but they wanted a lot. And so we didn’t do it. Because it would’ve, and it ended up would’ve been Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum). Both those draft picks … that we got Jaylen and Jayson with, so that was one that like I loved Jimmy and I was trying to get him …could’ve drafted Jimmy late, I liked him even then. But like now, he’d be proving how good of a player he was. Yeah, that was probably one.”
This is really no surprise that Danny Ainge would be extremely interested in the services of Jimmy Butler, who likely reminds Ainge of himself in certain ways. Danny Ainge was known in his playing days for his competitive hard-nosed style of hustle and tenacity which typically rubbed opponents the wrong way but teammates loved him for it. This is a truly intriguing what if scenario for both organizations.
It is difficult to say that the Bulls would draft both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the spots they went at due to the Bulls woeful history of front office blunders during the Gar-Pax era. That being said, what would the Bulls look like right now with potentially Tatum and Brown on the team instead of the return the Bulls received for Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves?
What would the Bulls look like right now if they would have retained Butler and built the team around him? The what if’s will always haunt the tormented Bulls fanbase but this was definitely an interesting piece of insight from Danny Ainge.
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