With the Boston Celtics owning the third overall pick in the draft after their trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, they are hopeful of trading it to the Chicago Bulls in a package for star guard Jimmy Butler, according to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 19, 2017
The Celtics have been heavily linked to Butler for quite some time, as they pursued a trade for him both last offseason and at this year’s trade deadline.
The Bulls do not want to go through a full rebuild because management is under a strict agenda from ownership to stay as competitive as possible so that they don’t lose investors and capital.
There is plenty of belief within the league and the Bulls organization that Boston will use the No. 3 pick on either Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum, and then pursue Utah Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward in free agency.
The Bulls’ asking price for Butler is high and it should be. He’s a three-time All-Star and one of the best two-way players in the entire league. Chicago will surely need more than the No. 3 pick in return if they do want to move Butler.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical is reporting that Tom Thibodeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves have contacted the Bulls as well in regards to trading for Butler. Thibs, of course, coached Butler in Chicago.
Sources: Chicago’s price for Jimmy Butler remains elevated, but Minnesota has assets and interest. Sides made preliminary contact this week.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 19, 2017
Butler has publicly and privately said he wants to stay with the Bulls. He feels a degree of loyalty to the franchise that used the 30th pick in the 2011 draft to select him. The 27-year-old is coming off his best season in the NBA this past year where he averaged 23.9 points, 5.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field.