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Celtics reportedly are ‘zeroed in’ on Jimmy Butler, Paul George 02.21.17 at 11:32 am ET
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Could Jimmy Butler be coming to Boston? (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

Could Jimmy Butler be coming to Boston? (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and it appears the Celtics have identified their main targets.

In a piece for ESPN.com, Zach Lowe notes the Celtics are “zeroed in” on both Jimmy Butler and Paul George. This isn’t much of a surprise considering these two players are two of the biggest stars potentially available.

Butler is averaging 24.5 points per game with the Bulls this season, while George is averaging 22.3 points per game with the Pacers. Either of these players could be the piece the Celtics need to take them to the next level.

Lowe also notes the Celtics have talked to the Clippers “intermittently” about a trade for Blake Griffin, but said a deal between the two teams is “extremely unlikely.”

Stay tuned as the trade deadline is set for Thursday and a lot will happen between now and then.

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

Read More: blake griffin, Jimmy Butler, Paul George,
Celtics-Bulls reportedly have engaged in talks in potential trade involving Jimmy Butler 02.19.17 at 11:00 am ET
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Could Jimmy Butler be coming to Boston? (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

Could Jimmy Butler be coming to Boston? (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

Will the Bulls trade Jimmy Butler? If so, could the Celtics be able to land the Bulls’ star?

The answer could be yes, and yes as the NBA trade deadline fast approaches.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the two teams have engaged in preliminary talks on a potential deal, but “have not gotten far down the road on it.”

Wojnarowski notes the Bulls organization needs to be fully in agreement that they want to rebuild and thus trade such a good player in Butler.

If the Bulls do indeed want to trade Butler, the Celtics have a number of high draft picks, which is what the Bulls would want, but then it would be a question of exactly what picks it would take to get a deal done.

Butler is 27 years old and is averaging 24.5 points per game this season. The guard is signed through the 2019-20 season.

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Jimmy Butler,
Rajon Rondo, still making friends in Chicago, unloads on Bulls veterans, pines for Boston days in Instagram post 01.26.17 at 6:44 pm ET
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My vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team. My vets didn’t pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn’t take days off. My vets didn’t care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn’t blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn’t have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn’t change the plan because it didn’t work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can’t win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don’t deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.

A photo posted by Rajon Rondo (@rajonrondo) on

Do you miss Rajon Rondo? I’m not gonna lie — I miss Rajon Rondo.

It sure sounds like he misses Boston.

A brilliant meteor with the Celtics, he has since worn out his welcome in Dallas and now Chicago, where he was suspended for a game in December for conduct detrimental to the team.

On Thursday, he took aim at teammates Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, who had blasted the Bulls a night earlier following a fourth-quarter collapse against Atlanta. Wade and Butler criticized teammates for not caring, and those words did not sit well with Rondo, who took to his Instagram account and obliterated them for not setting the example that he learned in Boston from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. (Rondo, it should be noted, scored 3 points in 9 minutes against the Hawks).

Beside a picture of himself in Celtics green with that duo, Rondo unloaded on Wade and Butler:

“My vets would never go to the media,” he wrote. “They would come to the team. My vets didn’t pick and choose when they wanted to bring it. They brought it every time they stepped in the gym whether it was practice or a game. They didn’t take days off. My vets didn’t care about their numbers. My vets played for the team. When we lost, they wouldn’t blame us. They took responsibility and got in the gym. They showed the young guys what it meant to work. Even in Boston when we had the best record in the league, if we lost a game, you could hear a pin drop on the bus. They showed us the seriousness of the game. My vets didn’t have an influence on the coaching staff. They couldn’t change the plan because it didn’t work for them. I played under one of the greatest coaches, and he held everyone accountable. It takes 1-15 to win. When you isolate everyone, you can’t win consistently. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a bad teammate. My goal is to pass what I learned along. The young guys work. They show up. They don’t deserve blame. If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.”

There’s only one word for that, and it’s, “Wow.” Not sure if Rondo is shooting his way out of town again, but given his acrimonious history with Wade when they were part of the Celtics-Heat rivalry, it looks like old grudges die hard.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler
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,
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