Rumblings in the past had indicated that the Boston Celtics had been interested and engaged in trading for Chicago Bulls superstar Jimmy Butler. It obviously never happened, especially coming into the season after the Bulls signed three-time NBA champion Dwayne Wade and reigning assist leader in Rajon Rondo. Chicago thought they had put together a strong roster of very talented players and instead of selling their best player, they would use Butler to carry them to postseason success.
Well that hasn’t worked out too well. In fact, the Bulls are one game under .500 with a 24-25 record following an 8-7 January. Rondo has been so bad that he was out of the rotation, receiving five straight healthy ‘Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision’ games, including one on the night of his own bobble-head night. Some of the team’s younger players weren’t happy at the lack of practices that future Hall-of-Famer Wade participates in. Then just the other night both Butler and Wade came off the bench as punishment for comments made to the media questioning the teams effort.
Jimmy Butler and D-Wade won’t start for Bulls vs Heat as discipline for their comments following Wednesday’s loss. https://t.co/djbeAawBzi
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 28, 2017
The following is from CBS Sports:
“At the end of the day, do whatever it takes to help the team win. You play your role to the tee. Be a star in your role, man. That’s how you win in this league, man. You have to embrace what this team, what this organization needs for you to do on either end of the floor. On top of everything else, just play every possession like it’s your last. We don’t play hard all the time. It’s very disappointing whenever we don’t play hard.” – Butler
With a team stuck in mediocrity, it seems Butler could be back on the block. According to K.C Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, rival executives around the league think that the Celtics may try to pry Butler away before the Feb.23 deadline.
Talks between the two teams are not anything new. Boston attempted to use its plethora of picks this past June around the time of the draft to obtain Butler, but the Bulls elected to hang on to the All-Star, according to Yahoo’s Adrain Wojnarowski.
Boston certainly has the assets needed to make the deal, and they could do so without damaging the team’s core. They hold the league worst Brooklyn Nets’ first round pick this year, as well as their 2018 first-rounder. Young players like guards (Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier), forwards (Jae Crowder), and Boston’s rookie Jaylen Brown, who went third in this past June’s draft, could be coveted assets. The move of teaming up Butler with a superstars Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford could catapult this team into contention with their incredible depth.
— NESN (@NESN) January 31, 2017
As for Chicago, they will have good young players to evaluate with a load of picks to speed up a rebuild. It could be a win-win for both teams if the deal gets done.