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Report: Bulls shopping All-Star guard Jimmy Butler; could Celtics be interested? 01.06.17 at 12:02 pm ET
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Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

Let us, for a moment, set aside our love affair with Gordon Hayward to focus on an even bigger fish — Bulls guard Jimmy Butler.

According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, the Bulls quietly started shopping Butler weeks ago and are open to moving the All-Star for the right price. The Celtics have reportedly made a strong push in the past, with ESPN reporting last June that the C’s made the most aggressive offer for Butler right before the draft.

Their interest makes total sense, because Butler is blossoming into a star. He’s averaging a career-high 25.2 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, as well as 4.5 assists. He has become the team’s go-to scorer in crunch time — on Wednesday, he scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bulls past the Cavaliers — and he’s solve a lot of problems for the Celtics on both ends of the floor.

A tremendous defender, he’s also shooting .456 from the floor. He’s not a great 3-point shooter (.336 this year, .329 lifetime), but he’s an accomplished scorer who’d give the team another option besides diminutive sparkplug Isaiah Thomas late in games.

The Bulls have benched point guard Rajon Rondo and are struggling to crack .500 in the Eastern Conference, so a rebuild could be in their near future, with Butler their most marketable piece.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Jimmy Butler, NBA rumors
Jaylen Brown works out with Jimmy Butler 09.06.16 at 8:56 pm ET
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Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is gearing up for his NBA debut by working out with one of the best shooting guards in the league. 

Brown posted a video on Twitter of himself working out with Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler over the weekend. The video shows the C’s first-round pick running a leg drill with help from the Bulls guard.

Back in June, Butler complimented Brown during an appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast, stating the young prospect reminded him of himself after playing him one-on-one back in June.  

Brown spoke to reporters in New York after the draft about the intense game he had with Butler. 

“We went tooth and nail at it. … I guess he thought it would be easy, and then somebody won the first game and then he wanted to keep going,” Brown told reporters in New York. “And so we kept going after that, then he won the second, then he won the third, then I won the fourth, and we ended up playing all the way to 21.”

Butler — who reportedly was targeted as a trade possibility by the Celtics this summer — is getting ready for a highly anticipated season with the Bulls. After winning a gold medal with Team USA at the Rio Olympics, Butler will be teaming up with new teammates Dwyane Wade and former Celtic Rajon Rondo.

Read More: Jaylen Brown, Jimmy Butler,
Report: Bulls pull Jimmy Butler off trade market, hope to build contender 07.12.16 at 4:15 pm ET
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Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

The Celtics have had their eyes on Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler since last season, but for now, anyway, it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the retooling Bulls have decided to retain Butler and have taken him off the trade market “for now.”

It has been a busy offseason in Chicago, where the Bulls have said goodbye to former MVP Derrick Rose, as well as rugged frontcourt stalwarts Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. They have replaced them with former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, as well as longtime Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade.

But the star of the team remains Butler, the 6-foot-7, 26-year-old All-Star who has emerged as one of the best two-way players in the league. Butler averaged a career-high 20.9 points a game last year, along with 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists.

The Celtics were rumored to be in on him all offseason, but couldn’t convince the Bulls to swing a deal. With Chicago signing veterans, it becomes harder to try to pry Butler with draft picks.

Now it looks like he’s not going anywhere, at least for the time being.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jimmy Butler, NBA rumors, NBA trade rumors
Celtics reportedly still trying to pull off major trade 07.06.16 at 9:57 am ET
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Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

The Celtics did not pull off the major trade many fans were hoping for prior to last month’s draft, but they still might have a chance to make a splash. According to a report from the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, the C’s have been continuing their attempts to improve their lineup by landing a big-name player — namely Bulls guard Jimmy Butler or 76ers center Jahlil Okafor.

The report notes that the C’s may have hurt their chances with their surprising selection of Jaylen Brown at No. 3.

Wrote Bulpett: Sources tell us the C’s are still holding the line on their offers from prior to the draft. They will make trades if teams come around to their price.

Jimmy Butler and Jahlil Okafor are said to be still available, but getting them now won’t be as easy as on draft night when Chicago and Philadelphia, respectively, both coveted the No. 3 overall pick so they could take Providence’s Kris Dunn.

The Celtics helped their cause with the acquisition of free agent forward/center Al Horford but clearly need to do more to compete with the best in the East.

Read More: Jahlil Okafor, Jimmy Butler,
Jaylen Brown learned first-hand about NBA intensity during recent 1-on-1 game with Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler 06.23.16 at 9:48 pm ET
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Jaylen Brown has the athleticism to excel in the NBA. (John Hefti/USA Today Sports)

Jaylen Brown has the athleticism to excel in the NBA. (John Hefti/USA Today Sports)

Jaylen Brown learned about NBA intensity from a name Celtics fans lusted after — Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler.

Because Brown and Butler share a trainer, they worked out together before the draft. A workout turned into a game one of one-on-one. They planned to play three.

“We went tooth and nail at it. … I guess he thought it would be easy, and then somebody won the first game and then he wanted to keep going,” Brown told reporters in New York. “And so we kept going after that, then he won the second, then he won the third, then I won the fourth, and we ended up playing all the way to 21.”

Brown wouldn’t reveal who won, but he’ll have a chance to renew acquaintances with Butler and the rest of the NBA’s most versatile swingmen after being selected third overall by the Celtics in Thursday’s NBA draft.

“Boston is a great city full of culture, full of life, education, things that mean a lot to me,” Brown said. “I’m super excited. I cannot wait to get there and can’t wait to get everything started, can’t wait for the season to start, and I’m happy to be a part of the family.”

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Read More: 2016 NBA draft, Boston Celtics, Celtics, Celtics draft
Report: Timberwolves have interest in Jimmy Butler, Celtics may have more to offer 06.14.16 at 11:10 am ET
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Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

The Celtics might not be the only team that has strong interest in Jimmy Butler.

ESPN reported Monday night that the Timberwolves made it clear to the Bulls that they’re willing to give up the No. 5 overall pick in next week’s draft in a package deal for Butler, a player the Celtics are rumored to be interested in. Although the Bulls aren’t believed to be actively shopping the All-Star, sources say they have been listening to offers from other teams.

Butler, who turns 27 in September, would make sense for the Timberwolves, who recently got a new coach in Tom Thibodeau. Butler began his career under Thibodeau, who helped him become a big name in the league.

Although it seems the Timberwolves now have interest in the 2015 Most Improved Player, the Celtics may be able to offer more. The Celtics likely would have to give up the No. 3 pick and at least one front-line player. Sources also told ESPN that the Bulls have serious interest in Providence point guard Kris Dunn, and they likely would be able to secure him with the third overall selection in the draft.

Both the Celtics and the Timberwolves have plenty of young, promising players to intrigue the Bulls, but Boston might have the advantage by having the higher draft pick.

Butler told ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell last month that he wishes to remain a Bull and expects to be in Chicago once training camp gets underway.

“Yeah, I think so,” Butler said. “I do think that with the year that we did have last season — it’s unacceptable. … You can use whatever excuse you want to use, but we didn’t make the playoffs. That’s all anybody sees and that’s rightfully so. So do I think I’m going to be here? Yeah, I think so.”

Butler is coming off a season in which he averaged 20.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 67 games. He’s a two-time All-Star and made the All-Defensive Team the last three years. However, the Bulls missed the playoffs with a 42-40 record, suggesting that Chicago isn’t the place where Butler can make a deep playoff run.

Read More: Celtics trade rumors, Jimmy Butler,
Celtics really should be eyeing these free agents this offseason 05.31.15 at 1:53 pm ET
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Kelly Olynyk gets entangled with Kevin Love in Game 4 of their playoff matchup. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Kelly Olynyk gets entangled with Kevin Love in Game 4 of their playoff matchup. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Celtics are heading toward a big summer in 2015, as Danny Ainge will do his best to reel in a top-tier free agent who could help the Celtics become a top team in the Eastern Conference next season.

The Celtics, who were swept by the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs, need help in the front court. The Celtics didn’t have a go-to scorer, nor did they have anyone who could rebound against Cleveland. Scoring and rebounding are two statistical categories the Celtics most need help in.

Ainge will take a crack at signing unrestricted free agents such as Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, but chances are those players will end up staying in Memphis and Portland, respectively. Same goes for restricted free agents like Golden State’s Draymond Green and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard; two players who will stay where they are or go to another title contender out west.

But there’s still plenty of talented free agents available who could be looking for a change of scenery. Here are four free agents the Celtics could sign this summer.

Greg Monroe, PF/C
2014-15: 16 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists

The unrestricted free agent will be attracting attention from a lot of teams this summer. Monroe is a good rebounder whose consistent offense is something the C’s need out of their front court. He can score with his back to the basket and is the most realistic free agent candidate on this list for the Celtics. This past season, Monroe averaged a double-double for the first time in his career. Adding Monroe to the offense would make the Celtics a top-five team in the East next season. Even though Ainge may have Kevin Love listed above Monroe on his free agent wish list, Monroe most likely will sit atop of Ainge’s list after Cleveland ultimately signs Love back for one more season.

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Read More: Celtics, Greg Monroe, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love
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