NBA Trade Rumors: Boston Celtics Trade No. 1 Pick, Will They Now Go After Jimmy Butler Among Others?
Danny Ainge at a basketball tournament.

NBA Trade Rumors: Boston Celtics Trade No. 1 Pick, Will They Now Go After Jimmy Butler Among Others?

NBA trade rumors are running rampant involving the Boston Celtics and other NBA teams. On Saturday, the Boston Celtics did what most NBA followers believed they should do — trade the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft. It is a trade that is sure to alter the look of the NBA draft.

According to the Boston Globe, the Celtics have agreed to swap draft picks with the Philadelphia 76ers. It is a trade where the top overall pick will go to the 76ers, while the Celtics will slide down two spots.

The Celtics also will also receive one of two future first round picks from the 76ers. They will either be next year’s draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers if it falls in spots Nos. 2-5, or the 2019 pick of the Sacramento Kings. The latter pick is unprotected. However, since the official announcement of the Celtics trade with the 76ers cannot be made until Monday, when the NBA offices are open, some of the parameters of the deal can be changed.

For the Philadelphia 76ers, the reason for the trade is clear — they wanted Washington guard Markelle Fultz. Now that they have the No. 1 pick they will indeed draft the high-scoring guard, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

For the Boston Celtics, the goal may be higher. Of the players in this year’s NBA draft, Kansas’ Josh Jackson appears to be the player who is the closest to NBA-ready. If the Celtics do not use the No. 3 pick for Jackson, they will look to trade the draft pick for a star player.

Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers‘ Paul George are the two likely targets for the Celtics if they decide to flip the pick.

Either Butler or George would help the Celtics, and for similar reasons. Both of them are two-way players who can score and defend with the best the NBA have to offer. Butler is the better defensive player, while George is a more dynamic scorer of the two.

That said, there is one reason why the Celtics would favor Jimmy Butler over Paul George — contract control. Contract control means everything to the Celtics as they attempt to put together their version of a star-laden team.

Jimmy Butler has at least two years left on his contract. Paul George, on the other hand, can leave next season.

Paul George to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 is one of the rumors that keep popping up. And it will continue despite the Pacers’ star coming out and declaring his desire to be with the team (courtesy of Sporting News).

The Boston Celtics did not load up on draft picks to trade for a one-year rental. The Celtics keep loading up for a difference-maker who will be with them for a while. Going after Jimmy Butler, still an ascending player with slightly lesser talent, is likely the Celtics’ goal.

After the Boston Celtics trade with the Philadelphia 76ers become finalized, the Celtics will focus their attention on Jimmy Butler, and to a lesser degree Paul George.

Andre Drummond goes up for a rebound.
Andre Drummond is a name to keep an eye on during the Boston Celtics’ attempts to acquire a star player. [Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]

Detroit Pistons‘ center Andre Drummond is another name that may intrigue the Celtics. Drummond is the defensive anchor the Celtics need, but he is not a prolific scorer and does not run the fast break as well as the Celtics would prefer.

Andre Drummond is a name for Boston Celtics’ fans to keep in the back of their minds if the Celtics lose out on the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler.

If all else fails, and the Boston Celtics do not complete a trade for a star player, Josh Jackson is an okay fallback option. However, the Celtics did not just acquire draft picks for the sake of acquiring draft picks. The Celtics have something else in mind.

[Feature Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]

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