The Jimmy Butler Celtics NBA trade rumors took a year off, but they're back in a big way now that Butler declined a four-year extension from the Timberwolves. Minnesota does not want to see Butler hit free agency next summer as he has a player option, and the Timberwolves could be looking at dealing the star 2-guard sooner rather than later.
"They said, 'You guys have done everything and we're very appreciative, but our bet is that we should wait until next year and we could get ourselves a better deal," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told ESPN 1500. "We did everything we could, and they want to do what they think is right for Jimmy."
The Timberwolves are in a situation where they want to compete this coming season, but they also want to protect their future when they think they could truly challenge for an NBA title. Watching Butler walk out the door for nothing next summer would completely hinder that idea.
Meanwhile at the top of the Celtics to-do list is re-signing star point guard Kyrie Irving to his own extension. All indications are that Irving will look to hit free agency as well and it was recently revealed that Butler and Irving are trying to figure out a path to play with one another. Danny Ainge likes to get out ahead of situations, particularly when it comes to elite players, so he could be exploring avenues that include a trade for Butler.
A look at Jimmy Butler Celtics NBA trade rumors
The thought here is that landing Butler in a trade would appease Irving, and that he'd be more apt to sign a longterm deal with the Celtics. The risk here, of course, is that Butler and Irving could conceivably walk out the door together next summer. There would need to be some sort of assurance from Irving's camp [and Butler's for that matter] that he would re-sign if Ainge was to pull the trigger on a Butler trade.
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The centerpiece of a trade for Butler from the Celtics would be Jaylen Brown, but as we saw with the Kawhi Leonard chatter - the Celtics don't seem willing to trade the young swingman for a rental. That said, Butler would be much more likely to re-sign in Boston than Leonard, who seems almost certain to land with the Lakers next season, would.