Current NBA trade rumors indicate that the Chicago Bulls are planning to trade their star player and go into rebuilding mode. The Boston Celtics have been looking for a deal to acquire another All-Star for months, but they have not been able to find a willing trade partner. The latest from the rumor mill hints that the Celtics may have finally found the right team to assist in their attempt to bolster their 2016-17 roster.
According to Yibada, the Bulls and Celtics may be discussing a major trade involving Chicago swingman and two-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler. Boston is rumored to be offering combo guard Avery Bradley, power forward Amir Johnson and a pair of first-round draft picks for the rights to Jimmy Butler.
After the Celtics had signed free agent power forward/center Al Horford this summer, the team’s next mission was to obtain another impact player to play alongside Horford (per a report published by the Sporting News). Boston had been linked to some All-Star performers this past summer, but none of those rumored deals took place. Could Jimmy Butler be the final piece to the puzzle that the Celtics have been looking for?
Make no mistake about it — this would be an expensive trade for Boston. Avery Bradley and Amir Johnson are both starters for the Celtics, and adding two first-round draft picks to the package makes this a significant trade offer. If Boston made this trade, they would be left with Jonas Jerebko at power forward. Amir Johnson is a better player, but that isn’t a massive downgrade, particularly considering the team also has promising rookie Ben Bentil on the roster.
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If this NBA trade rumor comes to fruition, the Celtics would be a better team now, and probably in the future as well since the rumored offer includes two first-round draft choices. This may indeed be the deal Boston has been waiting for, but the Bulls would also have to agree to the swap, and that’s where this trade scenario starts to crumble. Sending Jimmy Butler to Boston would leave a huge hole at small forward, and neither Bradley nor Johnson would be able to directly compensate for that loss.
Regarding the incoming players, the proposed trade is also not a great one for Chicago. Avery Bradley and Amir Johnson are quality players, but the team currently has Dwyane Wade at shooting guard and a strong trio of players at power forward — Nikola Mirotic, Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis. Due to this, Bradley and Johnson would have limited roles for the Bulls (likely as reserves on the second unit). The draft picks would certainly add value to the rumored deal for Chicago, but it appears doubtful that the Bulls would ship out a player of Jimmy Butler’s caliber for a package of backups and future draft picks.
If Boston is truly focused on acquiring Jimmy Butler, they could alter their offer to include a player or players that better fill a need for Chicago. It has been suggested in previous NBA trade rumors that up-and-coming small forward Jae Crowder could be dangled by the Celtics as a bargaining chip in a potential deal for Butler. That scenario would make more sense for the Bulls, but those reports were speculative and may not be part of either team’s thinking concerning a deal centered around Jimmy Butler.
The latest NBA trade rumors are swirling around the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. The trade scenario that is being discussed online would seem to be a good move for the Celtics, but not so much for the Bulls. We might not have heard the last of Jimmy Butler possibly being dealt to Boston, but the framework of this potential swap is not beneficial enough to Chicago — it takes a lot to convince a team to trade an NBA All-Star, and the package that the Celtics are rumored to be offering the Bulls is not going to bring Jimmy Butler to Beantown.
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