Jimmy Butler thought Celtics were going to draft him, says he loves playing at the TD Garden
With the Celtics offseason in full swing and the Draft approaching, many rumors are flying around right now. A lot of those rumors involve Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls possibly being a trade option for the Celtics. Butler went on a podcast with Bill Simmons and addressed how much he loves playing in Boston and that he thought the Celtics would pick him in the 2012 NBA Draft. Via Jay King of MassLive.com:
The Celtics actually picked MarShon Brooks in 2011, but swapped him to the Nets on draft night for Johnson and a future pick. Butler ended up going to the Chicago Bulls at the end of the first round, but told Simmons he was surprised Boston didn't select him.
"What's crazy is I thought I was going to end up with y'all (the Celtics)," Butler said on the podcast. "Doc (Rivers) being from Marquette, I (was) ready. But I'm not mad. I went 30th to Chicago and it's a good place for me right now."
Butler also commented on some of the rumors of him possibly being traded to Boston, the rumors with Minnesota, and him playing well at the Garden:
Since the February trade deadline, Butler's name has been mentioned in a load of rumors. The most recent one, from ESPN this week, indicated the Minnesota Timberwolves are willing to offer the No. 5 pick in a package for Butler. The Celtics, armed with the No. 3 selection, have also reportedly shown interest in the past.
The Bulls would ask for a heap of assets in any trade -- and might prefer to keep their cheap, young All-Star -- but Butler does like playing in Boston. When Simmons asked the 26-year-old wing his favorite road arena to play in, he initially said the Bradley Center (where his college program, Marquette, plays home games) before mentioning Los Angeles and Boston.
"I always play well in TD Garden," Butler explained. "And then I like L.A. I've got a lot of friends out here, so I like to play in front of them because I'm always stuck in the harsh winters of Chicago."
A noted Celtics fan, Simmons brought up his favorite team on several occasions.
"Trust me, I get enough on my Instagram and Twitter about going to Boston," Butler said. "But the funniest part about it is everybody's like, 'Jimmy, don't leave Chicago.' I literally, I don't control that. It's not like I'm a free agent. I can't do anything about that. And so people get mad: 'Oh, we hate you. You want to leave.' I never once said that. There's absolutely nothing that I can do. Literally the only way is if I got traded."
Butler knows that he has no control over where he plays at this point because of his contract and it really is up to the Bulls on whether they want to rebuild or keep Butler as the face of the their franchise. In the case that they do want to rebuild and trade Butler, Chris Forsberg of ESPN suggested a trade that would include a big haul for the Bulls superstar, not including both Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder:
But I'm not running from the table. If I'm Boston, I'd counter by pulling Crowder but adding more picks (Nos. 16 and 23 this year do anything for you?) and a young player (maybe someone like 2014 first-round pick James Young, who is still only 20 years old and simply hasn't been able to make an impact in Boston yet). Then add a nonguaranteed deal like Jonas Jerebko or Amir Johnson to help match up salaries.
I think the trade that would acquire Butler would most likely have to include multiple picks, including maybe a Brooklyn pick in the future. The Celts should be willing to move James Young because of his delay in developing and moving guys like Bradley and Amir Johnson for Butler would be well worth acquiring Butler. Do you like this trade Celtics fans? Bradley, 3rd pick, 16 and 23 this year, James Young, and Amir Johnson for Butler? I'd do that in a heartbeat.
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