If the Boston Celtics want to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls, it sounds like it’s going to take not only one of their coveted draft picks but also an important contributor on their active roster.

The Celtics and Bulls have been tied in trade rumors for months, with most of those reported discussions centering around Butler. As one of the best players in the NBA, Butler won’t come cheap, and it sounds as if Chicago’s asking price definitely reflects his value.

TNT’s David Aldridge reported Tuesday on NBA Network’s “GameTime” that Chicago has its eye on Boston forward Jae Crowder. According to Aldridge, Crowder remains a sticking point in discussions, as Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t want to give up the defensive-minded swingman.

“The Jimmy Butler stuff is real,” Aldridge said. “They’ve been trying to get Jimmy Butler. (Ainge) does not want to give up Jae Crowder. That’s I think the main sticking point. He just does not want to give up Jae Crowder, and I think that’s the guy that Chicago’s insisting on in any package for Jimmy Butler.

“The picks will work themselves out … They’ll make it work. That part I’m not worried about. I think it really comes down to Crowder. As far as real tangible players, I think Danny would like to go into the playoffs with Smart, Bradley, Crowder defensively along with Butler, Horford, Thomas offensively.”

In addition to Crowder, a Celtics-Bulls trade for Butler almost certainly would include one of Boston’s numerous first-round picks, which include a pick swap with Brooklyn this season and the Nets’ first-round pick in 2018.

“Chicago, I think rightly, is saying if you want our best player, we’re not going to just do it for picks.” Aldridge continued. “We’re not going to take guys that you’re not going to keep on your roster. We want a guy who’s going to be able to grow with us along with one of those high picks. They want a top half of the lottery type of pick for Jimmy Butler along with an established starting player under contract.”

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

The Celtics’ top six trade assets >>

H/t to MassLive
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images