If Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge is going to land a superstar player via trade he will have to, again, do what he did in the summer of 2007 - take advantage of a franchise without a direction.
Two NBA franchises that are currently stuck in the mud are the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings. Neither franchise is sure as to whether or not it wants to march forward with its current roster or entirely blow things up, so expect Ainge to place more than a few phone calls to the "312" and the "916" in the next couple of months.
Jimmy Butler is the main name being floated when it comes to the Bulls. Chicago Tribune writer K.C. Johnson threw a wet blanket on the Butler-to-Boston rumors Monday, however, when he wrote that "in the Bulls' early organizational meetings to shape offseason strategy, little changed from the February trade deadline regarding Butler, sources said."
Johnson went on to write that the Celtics would have to offer at least one high-profile player (not sure anyone outside of Isaiah Thomas fits that description) and multiple first round picks for Bulls brass to be interested.
Meanwhile, the Kings just hired a new head coach in former Grizzlies boss Dave Joerger. Sacramento will likely see if Joerger can be the "Boogie Whisperer" after DeMarcus Cousins had what seemed like weekly clashes with George Karl. Joerger is well-liked in league circles and he certainly has his players' backs. After the Grizzlies were swept by the Spurs in the first round of this year's playoffs, Joerger broke down in tears in the post-Game 4 press conference, expressing love for his team. It's the type of thing you routinely see college coaches do after NCAA tournament defeats. Not so much in the NBA.
“I can’t tell you enough how proud I am of every guy that’s in that locker room and has come through that locker room,” Joerger said while wiping away tears. “This season has been hard. It’s been really hard. They could have quit. They could have quit, could have not made the playoffs. And every day they came out and fought like crazy.
It's hard to think of Joerger as a B.S. artist after something like that (in no way was that forced) and - as corny as it sounds - players take notice of stuff like that. It's difficult to believe that Cousins is anti-Joerger and Joerger was likely brought to the West Coast to appease the talented big man.
The odds of the Kings trading Cousins this summer took a big hit on Monday.