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Report: Celtics unlikely to make trade for Jimmy Butler or Paul George this summer

05.18.17 at 5:21 pm ET
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Jimmy Butler has long been rumored as a trade target for the Celtics. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Butler has long been rumored as a trade target for the Celtics. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a reminder that the Celtics are still at least one superstar piece away from competing with LeBron James and the Cavaliers for the East’s crown. 

They have the assets to make it happen, too. 

But don’t expect a massive C’s trade to come this summer, at least based on the latest report from The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski

“I think with Boston and L.A. getting No. 1 and No. 2, I think it makes it highly unlikely that Butler and George are involved in trades with those two teams,” Wojnarowski said when asked about ‘big moves’ from the Celtics and Lakers. “Danny Ainge at No. 1 now, with Jimmy Butler, they dealt with this at the trade deadline last spring.”

As alluded to, the Celtics have rumored to be in on Butler for years now, but Ainge’s hesitancy to pull the trigger on any Butler deal likely comes back to what’s considered their big summertime plans in free agency.

“Boston is really focused on trying to get Gordon Hayward from Utah in free agency,” Wojnarowski said.

Hayward, by the way, are now unable to sign a ‘mega max deal’ with the Jazz (five-year, $207 million), as he was left off an All-NBA team. The same goes for Indiana’s Paul George, a player that the rebuilding Lakers seem to believe they can land in 2018, either via a trade or as a free agent. Those misses for the Jazz and Pacers seem to be gains for either the Celtics or Lakers, too.

“Why trade assets to get Butler when you think you might have a chance at Hayward in the summer where they have the cap space to sign him in and you don’t have to trade anything?” Wojnarowski noted. “Boston could possibly know closer to the draft where they stand with Hayward, but I think Danny Ainge has not gone ‘all in’ with this group yet. And having the No. 1 pick this year, and potentially the No. 1 overall pick again next year with Brooklyn’s pick again, he doesn’t have to take that kind of a risk.

“I think Boston preserves its cap space and goes really hard after Hayward on July 1.”

Hayward, 27, averaged a career-high 21.9 points per game this season. 

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