NBA rumors of Jimmy Butler getting traded to the Boston Celtics could certainly shift the landscape in the Eastern Conference. It’s a deal that has been discussed at length by many NBA analysts, touching on the possibility that the Chicago Bulls could finally undertake a full rebuilding effort. Could the Celtics and Bulls come to terms on a deal before the February 23 NBA trade deadline? Will Celtics general manager Danny Ainge finally pull the trigger?
A report by Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix discussed a lot of the trade chatter around the league. One of their main topics of conversation was whether the Celtics and Bulls would open up negotiations again on All-Star forward Jimmy Butler. The idea would be that the Celtics would give up one of their prized future first-round draft picks to acquire a player who could make a huge difference in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Boston Celtics are flush with draft picks that Danny Ainge has acquired from other teams over the past few NBA seasons. When he broke up the “big three” of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, Ainge convinced the Brooklyn Nets to give up several first-round draft picks. That includes a 2017 first-round pick that could be at the top of the NBA Draft Lottery. The Brooklyn Nets currently have the worst record in the league, making that pick extremely valuable in trade negotiations.
The catch to these NBA rumors is that the Chicago Bulls are in the middle of a playoff race. The front office for the Bulls would have to give up on a playoff run to deal Jimmy Butler, which would be admitting that they have failed with the current roster construction. That would include the free agent signings of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo during the past offseason, which was supposed to have the Bulls ranked among the best teams in the league. Instead, the Bulls have struggled to even remain competitive against the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
In the latest NBA standings, the Bulls have a 28-29 record and are seventh place in the East. The team is just one game ahead of the Detroit Pistons (27-30), but also only one game behind the Indiana Pacers (29-28). The ninth place team is currently the Milwaukee Bucks (25-30), who are two games behind the Bulls and one game behind the Pistons. Some recent acquisitions have the Bucks playing much better basketball, possibly making the team a real threat to steal a playoff spot away from one of the three teams listed ahead of them.
The Boston Celtics are still ranked No. 2 in the East with a 37-20 record, but they are only two games ahead of a very hot Washington Wizards team (34-21). The Celtics may need to pick up a player or two before the NBA trade deadline to not only ensure that second seed, but to also have an opportunity to possibly catch the No. 1 seeded Cleveland Cavaliers (39-16). Without Kevin Love, the Cavs might just be vulnerable enough to catch in the regular season, but the Celtics would have to acquire a player like Jimmy Butler to make it possible.
It’s important to point out that despite all the recent NBA trade rumors, nothing is currently stating that the front offices of the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls are negotiating a deal. The two franchises have discussed the possibilities in the past, but there aren’t any offers on the table right now. That could certainly change very quickly, though, as Danny Ainge would only need to pick up the phone and make an offer that would be very difficult for the Bulls to pass up. Either way, both teams will continue to get mentioned as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
[Featured Image by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]