The Indiana Pacers are trying to acquire assets to help Paul George out while Boston has renewed their interest in Jimmy Butler.
The NBA Trade Deadline on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. is fastly approaching, and the reports have started to pour in rapidly.
Chris Haynes of ESPN reported that the Indiana Pacers are looking for help for Paul George and they’re willing to trade a first-round pick to do it. The Pacers traded their 2016 first to the Nets for Thaddeus Young and moving your first-round pick two seasons in a row isn’t ideal.
Dealing their pick, in a loaded draft, may be worth it if the Pacers can get something valuable in return.
The Pacers are hoping that such an asset would translate to the addition of either an established wing or an established frontline player, according to sources.
George is understandably reluctant to sign a contract extension. He wants to win a championship and despite another All-Star season from the 27-year-old his team remains at just the sixth seed and one game over .500 in the lowly Eastern Conference.
Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix of The Vertical posted a preview of their Thursday deadline preview. Woj reports that the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls are still working on the long-rumored Jimmy Butler trade.
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) February 19, 2017
Woj on Butler:
These teams have engaged on the potential of this trade, (but) they have not gotten far down the road on it. There still needs to be some alignment within the Bulls’ organization, from ownership to management, that they want to make the decision to enter a full rebuild … These are two teams that have what the other wants. Boston has been hoarding assets for a couple seasons trying to get in a position to get a star player. The fact that they swap with Brooklyn this year, which could be a potentially a top-three pick, and they have Brooklyn’s pick outright next year, either of those picks — I don’t think Chicago could get both of them — that is the beginning point of a deal for Jimmy Butler.
- Transcribed by MassLive.com
The Celtics have reportedly coveted Butler since the 2016 draft, but they weren’t willing to give up any of their high picks. The Bulls may have taken a step back this season, again, but the sixth-year veteran has taken his game to a new level.
The 27-year-old was named an All-Star for the third straight season and a starter for the first time after putting up career-highs in points, assists, rebounds, and PER.
Butler and pending free agent Taj Gibson are the last real remaining pieces of the Thibs-era (Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott were only with the coach for one season). Butler is the team’s greatest asset,