Specifically, Lowe wrote Boston was uncertain if Butler would mesh with free-agent acquisition Gordon Hayward on the court and from a personality perspective.
When Boston failed to pull the trigger on a deal, however, the Minnesota Timberwolves swooped in and acquired Butler for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and a first-round pick that turned out to be Lauri Markkanen.
The Celtics hadn't yet signed Hayward at the time of that trade, but it was widely expected they would be major players for the former Utah Jazz star's services since C's head coach Brad Stevens coached Hayward at Butler.
Hayward and Butler have many similarities as two-way players who have gradually improved throughout their respective careers and developed into All-Stars.
While it would have been interesting to see what Stevens could have done with two versatile weapons on the wing, the Celtics instead addressed a need in their backcourt.
Although the deal has yet to be made official due to concerns regarding Isaiah Thomas' hip, Boston traded Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for guard Kyrie Irving.
Provided that deal goes through, the Celtics will have a core consisting of Irving, Hayward, Al Horford, rookie Jayson Tatum and other promising pieces.
For as much as Butler has grown in recent years, Irving is a former NBA champion with a skill set the Celtics lacked, perhaps making him a better fit for Boston.