If the Bulls make Jimmy Butler available in a trade, theoretically the Celtics would be able to put together the best package and have the most assets to offer Chicago for the 2-time all-star shooting guard.
A while back rumors were leaked regarding Danny Ainge's first attempt to pry Butler from the Bulls around the trade deadline. Apparently the deal stalled out because Ainge just wouldn't part with Jae Crowder.
Fast Forward a couple months and the Jimmy Butler trade winds are blowing again. Now, the question is in a deal for Butler should the Celtics make Jae Crowder available?
Dutra's Take: Jae Crowder should not be untouchable in a Jimmy Butler deal
Danny will definitely try to lowball the Bulls and try not to include him in a possible deal, however, if the Bulls are stuck on the fact that they need Crowder to deal Butler and won't budge, then he has to pull the trigger. Plus, if you include Crowder, you may be able to keep Avery Bradley or retain some other assets.
Jimmy Butler is only 26 and has been a 2-time All-star. He is a top-15 player in the NBA and would be worth dealing one of your most valuable assets for... He fits perfectly into Brad Stevens system and would be everything we hope and dream Crowder could become. There are a lot of similarities in Crowder and Butler. You wouldn't be losing much on the defensive end, Butler has been one of the most dependable wing defenders in the NBA the past few years, but you would gain a lot on the offensive end. Butler has averaged 20-plus points per game the past two seasons, and is a much better passer than Crowder. Crowder is a better spot up shooter, but Butler's ability to create his own shot would be extremely valuable to the Celtics.
This move will also help the Celtics lure free agents. Even though I think a lot of players would want a guy like Crowder on their team, I don't see anyone lining up to play along side him. Butler would be the star that the Celtics need to potentially pull in another big name in free agency.
Sway's Take: Jae Crowder is Untouchable in a Jimmy Butler Deal
Proposed Deal: Bradley, Brooklyn's first-round picks (2016, 2018) & Jonas Jerebko for Jimmy Butler
In this scenario, the Celtics would already be giving up a lot for Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder should be left out. Two first-round picks, Avery Bradley and another bench player (Jonas Jerebko's contract would fit in nicely) -- is a great starting point for the Bulls to begin their much needed rebuilding process. Bradley, whose contract is a team-friendly one and good for two more seasons, has blossomed into one of the best back court on-ball defenders. Chicago would also receive a potential top-3 pick in this year's draft and what will almost definitely be an additional lottery pick in the near future.
Butler, who is one of the best two-way players in the league, would be a great upgrade at the shooting guard position. He would add size, become the team's top scorer but without Crowder in the same lineup, the Celtics lose two top scorers and both of their best defenders.
Crowder has a bright future ahead of him and is someone who the Celtics need to pair alongside Butler. Having these two defending the wing positions makes them a much better team, defensively. Adding Butler while losing Bradley and Crowder leaves a big hole at the small forward position.
Although landing a player like Butler could lead to the Celtics possibly landing Kevin Durant to form a new-era Big 3 alongside Isaiah Thomas -- it's too risky. If Durant ultimately decides to stay in OKC, the Celtics will probably be forced to plug Evan Turner into the starting five (signing him to a sizable contract) and sign a back up out of the free agency pool.
Should Jae Crowder be included in a deal to acquire Jimmy Butler? Let us know.
Follow Sean Dutra on Twitter: @SeanDutra
Follow Josue Pavón on Twitter: @Joe_Sway10
Pictures used via Getty Images