NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics expected to trade for Nikola Vucevic and Jimmy Butler before February deadline

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NBA, NBA Rumors, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic (Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr)

The Boston Celtics are one of the NBA teams who are expected to be highly active on the trade market. The latest NBA rumor revealed that the Celtics have exploratory talks with the Orlando Magic regarding Nikola Vucevic. They are also expected to reopen discussions with the Chicago Bulls about Jimmy Butler.

The Celtics successfully found their way back to title contention as they are now a strong contender in the Eastern Conference. They are 30-18 and just two wins behind the reigning NBA champions, Cleveland Cavaliers. According to A. Sherrod Blakely of, general manager Danny Ainge is still eyeing to improve their roster by adding a big man who can defend, score and rebound.

Blakely revealed that Magic center Nikola Vucevic emerged as a trade target for the Celtics. Vucevic continues to be the subject of trade rumors since Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo arrived in Orlando. Though he’s not a proven rim protector, Vucevic would address two areas which the Celtics want to improve: scoring and rebounding.

In 47 games this season, he’s nearly averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 9.8 rebounds along with two assists. As of now, no deal is imminent but the Magic could be targeting a wing in return. Nikola Vucevic told Blakely that he will not let trade rumors affect his game.

“You try not to pay too much attention to it and focus on what you can do,” Vucevic said. “And just focus on what you can do which is your play and do your best to help the team win. There’s been a lot (of rumors) about me this season. I haven’t paid attention to it. I don’t read that much. It’s all rumors; you can’t control them. At the end of the day, what happens, happens.”

Celtics reopen discussions with Bulls about Jimmy Butler

In the recent offseason, the Celtics emerged as the top suitor of Jimmy Butler. However, a trade deal didn’t proceed after the Celtics failed to give what the Bulls demanded. According to K.C. Johnson of Chicago Tribune, some NBA executives believe that the Celtics and the Bulls will reopen discussions about Jimmy Butler before the February deadline.

“There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline. The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets — Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets’ first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 — the teams discussed then,” Johnson reported.

Butler became the new face of the Bulls franchise after Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks. However, the Bulls don’t think that Butler is the type of player they should build their team around. The arrival of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo made things more complicated in Chicago as they don’t fit well with Butler.

The Celtics general manager is known for making great deals before the February deadline. With the plethora of assets they have, the Celtics hold a higher chance of acquiring their targets on the trade market.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

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