|Report: Bulls pull Jimmy Butler off trade market, hope to build contender||07.12.16 at 4:15 pm ET|
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.
|Celtics reportedly still trying to pull off major trade||07.06.16 at 9:57 am ET|
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.
|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|
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.”
|Report: Timberwolves have interest in Jimmy Butler, Celtics may have more to offer||06.14.16 at 11:10 am ET|
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.
|Celtics really should be eyeing these free agents this offseason||05.31.15 at 1:53 pm ET|
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.
|Jimmy Butler: ‘If I didn’t have [Joakim Noah] on my team I would hate him,’ understands why Kevin Garnett doesn’t like Noah||01.17.15 at 1:55 am ET|
Joakim Noah didn’t play in Friday’s win over the Celtics, but he still managed to find his way into the box score with a technical foul in street clothes from the bench. The call sparked one of the loudest ovations of the night from the TD Garden crowd — a fan base that has despised Noah dating back to his battles with Kevin Garnett when he was wearing green.
Noah’s cockiness was something that Garnett and Celtics fans have come to hate over the years. So in typical fashion, Noah took credit for the Bulls run against the C’s, claiming it was his technical that sparked his team. Jimmy Butler was asked about Noah’s claim after the game.
“No comment, man. Jo always thinks it has something to do with him. That’s your guy. Look at him over there,” said a smiling Butler gesturing towards a laughing Noah on the other end of the locker room. “Something’s wrong with him.”
So, is Noah the type of player that you only love when he’s on your team?
“Yes, I always say that,” Butler said emphatically before the second half of the question was even posed to him. “If I didn’t have Jo on my team I would hate him. So hopefully he’s on my team for forever because I really would not like him if I was going up against him.
“He just talks too much. He gets on my nerves. I don’t know,” he continued while both smiling and shaking his head thinking he may have gone too far. “I love him because he’s on my team, but if we end up playing towards the end of each of our careers if we go separate ways we will end up fighting. I guarantee it.”
Butler’s honesty came as a little bit of a surprise. So this seemed like the perfect time to see if one of Noah’s own teammates could see things from Garnett’s point of view during the many altercations the two shared while the Big Ticket was still in Boston (and even during his time with Brooklyn).
“Oh yeah, definitely,” Butler said. “I think that comes with the game, you know, two fierce competitors that want to win. [They’re] really great at their position. That’s what your going to get. Especially out of that one,” he finished while gesturing towards Noah once again.
Even though Butler is open minded enough to see things from Garnett and the Boston fans’ point of view, he is very grateful to have Noah on his side.
“Jo makes everyone around him play harder, dive on the floor, take a charge, because when you see how emotional he is you know that he’s really into the game,” expressed a now more serious Butler. “You want to go to war, you want to battle with a guy like Jo.”
Look, Jimmy Butler does not dislike Joakim Noah, “Jo’s my guy,” Butler said multiple times in the locker room. But Celtics fans may just find it refreshing to know that someone in the Bulls locker room can justify that he too would hate Noah if he were an opponent. KG might even find it a bit gratifying as well.
Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow
|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Marquette G/F Jimmy Butler||06.14.11 at 6:40 pm ET|
WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).
Weight: 220 pounds
Stats: 15.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg
What he brings: Butler does not have one particular part of his game that will blow anyone away, but he is a solid all-around player. He is very versatile as he can play guard and forward, but he will, in all likelihood, be a guard in the NBA. He is most known for being an active defender and understanding the game well. He has a good mid-range game but needs to work on his 3-point shooting. He also posts up well for a guy of his size but does struggle with creating his own shot.
Where the Celtics could get him: First round (or second)
What they’re saying: ‘He’s the smartest player I’ve ever coached.’ ‘ Marquette coach Buzz Williams
Notes: Butler was an All-Big East Honorable Mention in 2010 and 2011. He helped lead Marquette to the Sweet 16 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He was a Junior College All-American at Tyler (Texas) JC in 2007-08.
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