If a Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving union comes to fruition in the next 12 months, do not expect it to occur in Boston. All indications are that if the Celtics give up any of their big-time assets in a trade for a superstar player in the next year or two, it will be to land Pelicans star Anthony Davis. Butler is set to be a free agent next summer as well, like Irving. But salary cap restrictions would make it damn near impossible for the Celtics to bring back Irving and take on Butler’s salary. It is why Wolves Jimmy Butler Celtics NBA Trade Rumors Mavericks are heating up. To do so the Celtics would have to trade away either Al Horford or Gordon Hayward in a separate deal to clear cap space and it appears highly unlikely that that would happen.
The Celtics’ best chance at landing Butler was last year when the swingman was still a member of the Chicago Bulls. Around the time of the 2017 NBA Draft, CSN Chicago’s Vincent Goodwill reported that the Celtics rejected Chicago’s offer of Butler for the No. 3 overall pick straight up.
This, of course, happened before the Celtics acquired Irving in a trade. Who knows if Danny Ainge would have looked to land Butler if he had remained a member of the Bulls, but based on Goodwill’s report it doesn’t seem like Ainge is willing to jump through any sort of hoop to land him in a deal.
All of this Butler and Irving as a duo chatter started up a month ago when Joe Crowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote the following regarding Wolves Jimmy Butler Celtics NBA Trade Rumors Mavericks and more.
“A league source close to the situation told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving and former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler – who’s been playing with the Timberwolves since a draft-night trade in 2017 – are still trying to figure out a way to play together. The Celtics could try to acquire Butler this summer, or the two former Team USA teammates could simply opt out of their player options after next season and join forces then. Their intent is to build an elite backcourt, whether that’s in Boston or somewhere else in the East.
“Last summer, a month before Irving told the Cavs’ front office he was looking to get out of Cleveland, with the Bulls on his wish list, he let Butler and several other former Team USA teammates know first.”
Wolves Jimmy Butler Celtics NBA Trade Rumors Mavericks looking too?
Timing is everything in the NBA and Ainge has become an expert at biding time when it comes to trades. He held onto Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce long enough to find a team to make a panic trade, and he pounced on Irving when he became available.
Next summer seems like the most reasonable time to look to trade for Davis. If Irving bolts, it would free up money for the Celtics to look to swap in a different superstar as the face of the franchise.
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons and former ESPN radio host Ryen Russillo weighed in on the future of the Celtics on Simmons’ podcast last week and Simmons quickly changed the subject to Davis when Russillo asked him if he was “worried” about Irving leaving next summer. Below are more Wolves Jimmy Butler Celtics NBA Trade Rumors Mavericks may be looking as well.
Simmons: “Boston has some red flags for me.”
Russillo: “Lack of depth up front? They have a million perimeter guys they need to find minutes for.”
Simmons: “My concern with Boston is how is everybody going to be happy at the same time? You have all these guys who think they should be playing the last six minutes of the game. And this is going to be [Brad] Stevens’ most difficult team to coach by far.
Russillo: “Jaylen’s going to sit.”
Simmons: “So, how is he going to handle that? How does Jaylen handle the whole summer of hearing how great Tatum is going to be, and Tatum is working out with Kobe, and Tatum’s a future MVP. And Jaylen’s like, ‘I’m right here. I was as good as him in the playoffs.
“How is Kyrie going to handle the Tatum thing. How good is Tatum going to be in Year 2? How does [Gordon] Hayward fit into this?
Russillo: “How worried are you about Kyrie?
Simmons: “About him leaving?”
Simmons: “[Pause] I’m very focused on Anthony Davis. I want to get to a world where the Celtics have Tatum and Anthony Davis and then you just figure out the rest of the guys. I want those two guys on the same team.”
Simmons is often a few steps ahead of everyone when it comes to major transactions in the league as early last summer he was the first to float the story that LeBron had eyes for the Lakers. This is certainly something to chew on for Celtics fans. Wolves Jimmy Butler Celtics NBA Trade Rumors Mavericks are once again heating up.
The Dallas Mavericks have also been consistently mentioned as a landing spot for Butler in free agency next year. The Texas native likely wouldn't be able to find himself a role on the cluttered Rockets roster, and the Spurs are all set at the 2-guard position. The Mavericks could suddenly be a premier destination next summer as well, with Luka Doncic favored to win the 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year award.