NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics And Philadelphia 76ers Discuss Draft Pick Swap, Celtics Eyeballing Jimmy Butler [Opinion]

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are in discussions regarding a swap of draft picks, with Jimmy Butler possibly in the mix as the NBA trade rumors begin to circulate. A potential deal between the Celtics and Sixers would have several implications regarding the NBA draft, as well as the trade market itself.

According to an ESPN report, the Celtics and Sixers are in heavy talks for a trade involving the first and third NBA draft picks. The deal between the Celtics and 76ers is in the advanced stages and could be completed within the next day or two.

There is some growing speculation the deal being discussed between Boston and Philadelphia would allow the 76ers to take guard Markelle Fultz. According to Yahoo Sports, the Sixers would send the Celtics the No. 3 pick and the 2018 first round pick that belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, in exchange for the No. 1 pick.

The Lakers’ selection is a pick which would be unprotected. The NBA rumor mill is churning out the name of Chicago Bulls’ star Jimmy Butler as the Boston Celtics’ likely target.

Jimmy Butler is a name that is getting a lot of run in the NBA rumor mill for the past 24 hours. And where there is smoke, could be fire.

Trade rumors came back to life shortly after a plea was made by actor Mark Wahlberg for the Boston Celtics to trade the No. 1 for Butler, as reported by TMZ. If the Celtics and 76ers complete their swap of draft picks, those NBA trade rumors will heat up.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, it is possible that the trade between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers can turn into a three-team deal. The third team involved would be the Chicago Bulls. The trade with the Celtics, Sixers, and the Bulls would likely have Jahlil Okafor going back to Chicago. There is some obvious thinking involved for the Celtics.

If the Boston Celtics can acquire the No. 3 pick from the Philadelphia 76ers, they can turn around and offer picks 3 and 18, along with Jahlil Okafor as a starting point for the Bulls’ Butler. It might take one more draft pick, probably the unprotected Lakers’ pick to get the Chicago Bulls willing to deal.

The idea of a three-team began to gain some steam once it was revealed that the Celtics and Sixers were in trade discussions. A tweet from Jonathan Wasserman, lead NBA draft writer at Bleacher Report, confirms the rumors could have some truth to them.

If the trade turns out to be a three-team deal, it will take a little longer for things to be ironed out. The Celtics and 76ers can hammer out their details quickly enough, as their trade seems simplistic. Including the Bulls would complicate things, but only in terms of making sure they would get what they require in order to move Jimmy Butler.

The gap between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers dimishes dramatically if Jimmy Butler is added. Not only is the Bulls’ star a defensive stalwart, but he is capable of being the lead scorer on a championship contender. Butler, grouped with guard Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Al Horford would create a stout defensive unit, built to play with pace.

The Sixers, while not ready to contend for an NBA title, would be in position to add a final piece to a future championship puzzle. That is why they would complete the deal with the Celtics. Markelle Fultz is looked at as their final piece.

As for the Chicago Bulls, they have to start over. A three-way trade would help them do that on the fly.

[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]