NBA Trade Rumors: Jimmy Butler To Celtics, Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony To Bulls, Jae Crowder To New York Highlight Six-Player Deal

NBA trade rumors are on fire now that the news is out that the Chicago Bulls have made superstar small forward Jimmy Butler available via trade. NESN states that NBA insider Ric Bucher has revealed not only that the Bulls are entertaining trade offers for Jimmy Butler, but also that the Boston Celtics are one of the teams who have shown interest.

This is apparently not the first time that Boston has looked into a potential deal for Jimmy Butler, according to Hashtag Basketball. This past summer, Chicago was reportedly asking the Celtics for multiple players and draft choices in exchange for Butler, but Boston decided the price was too high and declined to accept the deal. Now, rumor has it that the Celtics are in the process of taking another shot at bringing Jimmy Butler to Beantown.

Yibada has reported that New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony could be on his way to Chicago in a trade that would also involve Jimmy Butler. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract with the Knicks, but he happens to be a close friend of Bulls shooting guard Dwyane Wade, so the theory is that Anthony and Wade would welcome the opportunity to play together in the Windy City.

Jae Crowder
Jae Crowder drives to the rim against the 76ers [Image by Matt Slocum/AP Images]

ESPN recently published a rather eye-catching post in which New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson was asked what his biggest regret has been since he joined the Knicks’ organization. Jackson openly shared that he had a chance to make a trade for Boston Celtics small forward Jae Crowder, and decided to take the offer of a draft pick instead — Phil Jackson calls this his biggest mistake as New York’s team president. The rumor mill is now speculating that the Knicks may once again be interested in acquiring Jae Crowder.

Current NBA trade rumors are buzzing about a potential swap between the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Chicago Bulls. The structure of this rumored proposal is as follows: the Celtics would obtain Jimmy Butler and power forward Taj Gibson, while the Knicks would come out of this transaction with Jae Crowder, power forward Amir Johnson, and the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick in 2017 (currently owned by Boston). The Bulls would welcome Carmelo Anthony, small forward Jaylen Brown, and the Celtics’ first-round pick in 2018.


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On paper, this hypothetical swap would make the Boston Celtics a better team, but the deal would be expensive — particularly since the Nets’ first-round pick in 2017 is likely to be at or near the top of the draft. Some general managers would not be bold enough to pull off a major deal like this, but the Celtics’ Danny Ainge, also known as “Trader Dan,” has a history of making big moves like this one.

This rumored proposal is a very compelling possibility for the New York Knicks; the team wouldn’t have as much offensive firepower if this deal was made, but they would be better defensively. Jae Crowder is a much better defender than Carmelo Anthony (per ESPN‘s NBA Real Plus-Minus statistics), and Amir Johnson is also strong on that end of the court.

The Chicago Bulls would swap one star for another by acquiring Carmelo Anthony for Jimmy Butler if this trade were to go through. The Bulls are deep at power forward, so they could afford to include Taj Gibson in this theoretical transaction. Jaylen Brown would not be much of a factor in the short-term, but he is a rookie with star potential, so he does have value if Chicago makes a move for him.

Jimmy Butler and Carmelo Anthony
Jimmy Butler and Carmelo Anthony when they were both members of Team USA this past summer [Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]

This example from the latest crop of NBA trade rumors is rather riveting: what would the Celtics, Knicks, and Bulls decide to do if this proposal was on the table? This six-player, two draft pick transaction would be a legal trade as verified by the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, so these three teams would have the option to shake hands on this deal if they chose to do so.

Boston would be likely to agree to this offer, and while this would be less certain for New York, they might go in on this deal as well. This rumored scenario is also reasonable for Chicago to consider, but they may not be getting quite enough in order to part with a superstar in his prime like Jimmy Butler, so they would be the probable holdout if this trade doesn’t happen.

[Featured Image by Matt Marton/AP Images]