The Boston Celtics might not be willing to extend the “Godfather offer” the Chicago Bulls reportedly are looking for in exchange for three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler.
Although the Celtics have been linked to Butler in trade rumors for quite a while, and it sounds like the Bulls would consider dealing the 27-year-old if the right deal came along, league sources insisted to the Chicago Tribune that Boston won’t part with this year’s first-round draft pick which the C’s can swap with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets have by far the NBA’s worst record, so the pick in question could be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. At the very least, there’s a good chance it’ll be a top-four pick given that No. 4 is the lowest selection the team with the worst record can end up with as part of the NBA draft lottery process.
Now, the Celtics’ apparent unwillingness to trade the 2017 Nets pick doesn’t eliminate them from the Butler sweepstakes, though the Bulls reportedly want a lot in exchange for the talented swingman. The C’s still own the rights to the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick and have several young, talented players on their roster who could be included in a blockbuster deal.
But the 2017 Nets pick figures to be Boston’s most valuable trade chip. While it’s unclear whether the Bulls would trade Butler to the Celtics even if the pick was in play, it’s reasonable to think Chicago would ask for that asset before any of Boston’s other assets, especially since trading away a star player in his prime likely would signify the beginning of a rebuilding process in the Windy City.
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