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The Boston Celtics need to strike. They need to be sharks. They need to smell the blood in the water and attack.
For years, Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics organization have been stockpiling assets. They have six first round picks over the next three years, two of which are from the Brooklyn Nets who are the worst team in the NBA right now with no sign of improving anytime soon. They have a bunch of young talented players like Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and Jaylen Brown just to name a few. Two things that teams in the NBA value more than anything are draft picks and young talent. The Celtics have both and could make a legitimate offer for just about anyone in the NBA. They need to do it now.
The Celtics entered the Kevin Durant sweepstakes and lost as he opted for the easy way out and joined the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James is not available. Neither is Russell Westbrook, James Harden, or Anthony Davis. The true elite players in the NBA are next to untouchable. However, as you work your way down the list of the best players in the NBA, you don’t have to go TOO far to come across a player that can be had for the right price. That player is Jimmy Butler.
The Chicago Bulls are in complete turmoil right now. Their coach has no control over their locker room, their big free agent point guard, Rajon Rondo, has not worked out at all (no surprise), their other big free agent acquisition, Dwyane Wade, has definitely shown his age this season along with creating quite a ruckus after bashing his teammates in the media. They’re just an absolute mess. This is where the Celtics come in. It would behoove the Bulls to blow this team up and start fresh with young players and some draft picks. They own the Kings pick in this years draft if it falls outside of the top 10. They also own their own pick this year and every year going forward. Adding to those picks can only improve the future of this franchise that’s been somewhat of a mess since Derrick Rose’s injuries began.
Not only is it time for the Celtics to move in on Jimmy Butler because of the turmoil in Chicago, it’s also time for the Celtics to go after Butler because of the turmoil, if you want to call it that, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Celtics breathing down their necks. The Cavs are 7-8 since the start of 2017 and their leader, LeBron James, has been very critical of the organization’s management. The Celtics need to recognize this and attack. The Cavs are probably at their weakest point since LeBron rejoined the team in the summer of 2014. Everyone still believes it’s a foregone conclusion that the Cavs and Warriors will meet in the Finals once again this year. I feel that Boston can definitely give Cleveland a run for their money with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler. They already have the 2nd best record in the East and they already have a couple of All-Star caliber players in Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. Adding Jimmy Butler to that mix would make this one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA. Not to mention one of the toughest. If you were to add Jimmy Butler to a roster that already features the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart, you’re looking at arguably the toughest team in the NBA.
Granted, one or two of those players mentioned would likely be involved in a deal for Butler, but, that doesn’t change the fact that this would still be an extremely dangerous and tough team. The Boston Garden is already a tough place to play in and adding a talent like Jimmy Butler to an already very good Boston Celtics team could push them over the top in the Eastern Conference. I’m not sure what Danny Ainge is waiting for or why he feels the need to hold onto all of these assets. The longer those young guys are in the league without becoming real stars, the lower their value gets. There aren’t many options out there that would be better for the Celtics than Jimmy Butler, if any at all. The feeling around the league seems to be that Butler could be had at a high price. But for a guy who’s only 27 years old and still has two years left on his contract, plus a player option for a third, I’d say its pretty easy to come to the conclusion that he is worth the high price tag. I understand the strategy though. Hold out for as long as possible to get the best deal possible. The only issue with using that strategy here is the fact that the Bulls hold all of the leverage. They don’t NEED to trade Butler. As I said, he’s just 27 years old and under contract for at least two more years. It’s not like the Bulls need to get rid of him before they lose him for nothing in free agency or anything like that. With that being the case, the Celtics need to be the aggressors here and push for this deal. Not only would it be great for the Celtics, it would be great for the balance of power in the NBA. Adding Butler to the Celtics could create one more team that we can talk about in terms of competing for championships and the NBA definitely needs that.
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