Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: Celtics May Deal for Draft Picks to Get Bulls Star

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2017

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls talks to the media during a press conference after Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Boston Celtics during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images)
Randy Belice/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are reportedly attempting to stockpile first-round picks in the 2017 NBA draft in an effort to land Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler

Adam Zagoria‏ of ZagsBlog provided details of the Celtics' potential plans Friday.

Marc Stein and Zach Lowe of ESPN.com previously reported Boston was engaged in "serious talks" with the Philadelphia 76ers about trading down from the No. 1 selection. The Sixers own the third overall pick and four choices in the second round, starting at No. 36.

The Celtics were previously linked to Butler leading up to the trade deadline.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported the Bulls' front office wasn't totally sold on the idea of going through a rebuild leading up to the deadline, though. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News heard similar rumblings from league sources.

Now the question is whether Chicago's stance has changed during the offseason to make the franchise consider a deal where it acquires numerous assets for the future in exchange for its top player.

Butler averaged 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists across 76 games during the 2016-17 season. His Player Efficiency Rating ranked fifth among small forwards behind only those of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The 27-year-old Marquette product, who's under contract for two more years with a player option for a third season, is exactly the type of high-impact player the Celtics have been seeking.

Brad Stevens' group finished the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Celts were no match for the star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals, however, losing the series in five games. 

Acquiring Butler without giving up any of their main contributors would go a long way to making the Celtics a bigger postseason threat. It's still unclear whether Chicago would be interested in that type of long-view move, though.


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