‘Tis the season for the Boston Celtics to be tied to seemingly every available player on the NBA trade market. Whether something comes of those rumors, of course, is yet to be seen.
The Celtics in just the last few games have been linked to multiple players reportedly available before the NBA’s Feb. 23 trade deadline. You now can once again connect the Celtics to Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Celtics and Bulls, according to the report, aren’t currently engaged in talks, but …
“There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline,” the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson wrote. “The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets — Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets’ first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 — the teams discussed then.”
Adding a player like Carmelo Anthony, who has been connected to the Celtics in recent days and weeks, certainly would upgrade Boston’s current roster, but it’s unknown how much impact the aging star could make. Acquiring a player like Butler, however, could be a major game-changer.
The 27-year-old is just hitting his prime and is having arguably the best season of his career. He’s averaging career highs in both points (24.5) and rebounds (6.6), and his 48.9 field-goal percentage is consistent with his career mark. Of course, as alluded to in the Chicago Tribune, the price to acquire Butler — compared even to a multiple-time All-Star like Anthony — would be high. That’s especially true considering Butler currently is signed through the 2019-20 season. He has a cap hit of $17.5 million this season, and his cap hit doesn’t exceed $19.8 million over the remainder of the contract.
The Bulls seemed insistent on keeping Butler during the offseason, but maybe the club’s recent slide and much-publicized dysfunction will lead Chicago to reconsider its stance.
H/t to MassLive
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images