Celtics hoping to trade for Jimmy Butler, sign Gordon Hayward

Celtics hoping to trade for Jimmy Butler, sign Gordon Hayward

Celtics hoping to trade for Jimmy Butler, sign Gordon Hayward

Jimmy Butler speculation has buzzed anew since news broke Friday that the Celtics and 76ers are poised to swap the first and third picks in Thursday's National Basketball Association draft, with the Celtics adding another future first-round pick to their already deep vault of assets. But the Bulls didn't engage in February without the potential of that pick being No. 1, and once the trade with the 76ers is finalized, it will drop to No. 3.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune recently polled three general managers on the prospects of a potential Jimmy Butler deal to Boston. It's no secret that the Celtics covet Butler more than any other team in the league, giving general manger Danny Ainge reason to trade down in the Draft.

Celtics have been high on Josh Jackson. Butler is expected to decline his 2019-20 player option, so he can join the 2019 free-agent market.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are top dog in the NBA's Eastern Conference, but it's clear that the Boston Celtics plan on challenging them in the very near future. That's how it's gone much of the time in the past involving rumors with the Celtics (and with the Bulls for that matter, in terms of smokescreens). In March, a front-office execute told The Ringer that Butler was "as good as gone" from Chicago and would push the Bulls front office to trade him this summer.

"Jimmy Butler, as a piece, is not a bad idea". During the six-game playoff series against the Celtics, Butler averaged 22.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

In the deal between the Celtics and Sixers, Boston received the No. 3 pick in this year's draft and the Lakers' 2018 first-round pick.

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