NBA Trade Rumors: Boston Wants Paul George, Jimmy Butler Instead of Carmelo Anthony
The Boston Celtics are targeting the Indiana Pacers' Paul George or Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler before the trade deadline, contrary to some rumors saying that they are after New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
Boston has been linked to Chicago's Butler since last year's trade deadline but negotiations had failed between the two teams. The Celtics and Bulls rekindled the potential deal on the eve of last summer's NBA draft, but it was again botched as Chicago had doubts trading Butler and Boston decided to keep the third overall pick, which turned out to be California's Jaylen Brown.
Like Us on Facebook
If the rumors are true, this would be the third time in 12 months that the Celtics and Bulls are trying to pull off a trade with Butler as the centerpiece. Meanwhile, the speculations that Boston is also interested in George, a superstar from a rival franchise, is something new in the rumor mill.
CBS Sports' Matt Moore said that the Celtics' interest in George "makes a lot of sense" since the four-time All-Star's "overall star power and ability" can definitely be an asset for the club in their attempt to rise back to championship contention.
Also, Pacers president Larry Bird's deep connection with the Celtics is another factor that could make the deal happen soonest. However, the former Boston Celtic main man "has made it clear that the Pacers have no intention of trading George", according to the report.
Earlier rumors have said that Boston wanted to get Anthony from New York, which is a separate saga on its own. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers, the Celtics are said to be Anthony's third option if he indeed decides to waive his no-trade clause with the Knicks.
However, as per NESN, Boston has "minimal interest in Carmelo Anthony" as the team prefers either Butler or George, which are two players who are "younger, (and) more well-rounded stars".
It was said that Anthony's strengths would only "complicate" the way things are going on in Celtics coach Brad Stevens' system and that his style of play is not the answer to the team's current needs such as rim-protection and rebounding.