Mannix’s analysis Tuesday night on CSNNE was more sobering. Because they didn’t jump into the top two, the Celtics could have a much tougher time targeting a star while keeping most of their core (and/or future draft picks) together. Mannix did say he believes Jimmy Butler could be available for the right price, but cautioned stars won’t come cheap. “If Boston does want to get in the mix for one of the premier players that could be available on the trade market, there is going to be a very rich price,” Mannix said. “It’s going to be that No. 3 overall pick plus a couple of extra players that are going to make it unpalatable for the Celtics to want to swallow that type of deal.”
Butler spoke publicly for the first time since Forman said "we have to explore all options" when asked directly if Butler is a franchise centerpiece. The comment irked Butler, although sources said the Bulls have no plans to trade the two-time All-Star. "I didn't do my job, so I guess everything is on the table," Butler said. "If I help us win games and get us in the playoffs and put us in a position to win a championship, he wouldn't say it. So I'm not mad at (Forman). He's doing his job."
Indeed, no one is untouchable. The palace intrigue that surrounded Butler and Hoiberg prompted several teams to inquire about Butler’s availability at the trade deadline. Though they were rebuffed, several rival executives told The Vertical they intend to try again. Boston was among the teams trying to pry away Butler in February, and several executives point to Orlando, with its treasure trove of young players and defensive-minded head coach, as a team to watch closely in the pursuit of Butler.
KC Johnson: Per that Boston Herald report that the Celtics targeted Jimmy Butler, told offer was of lowball variety and talks didn't advance. To be clear, @Steve Bulpett report made clear talks underscored Celtics' mindset to shoot for stars with picks/plyrs. Bulls just not interested
A number of names were linked to the Celtics during that time — Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Jahlil Okafor being among the most prominent players identified in the Herald as targets of the club. And then there is the NBA executive who, characterizing the Celts’ hunt, was quoted here as saying, “It’s like they took the All-Star roster and used it as Match.com.” One of those stars whose profile intrigued the Celtics didn’t get to play in that game because of a strained knee. It’s been said that Chicago’s Jimmy Butler would be a good fit here, but multiple sources are telling the Herald that the Celts did, in fact, make a strong move for the 6-foot-7 wing.
According to one source that had at least one player who could have been involved in the potential transaction, the Celtics were willing to give up two first-round draft picks this year — the unprotected pick from the Nets and Dallas’ choice, which is protected 1-through-7. There are differing reports on what players were offered, requested and denied and how far the talks got, but the bottom line is that there was no fit for the Celtics and Bulls at this time.
“The term I’ve heard with Danny is that he’s looking for a ‘difference maker,’” said one league source. “He’s definitely willing to pay you for the right guy, but he wants someone who can move them to the next level.”
September 22, 2021 | 4:19 am EDT Update
Ian Begley: Frank Ntilikina’s 2-year deal with the Mavericks is fully guaranteed in Year 1 and nonguaranteed in Year 2. The second year of Ntilikina’s deal becomes fully guaranteed if he’s on the Mavs roster past 7/4/22, per sources. The ex-Knick’s contract is for $3.8 million in total.
Zach Lowe: Now they’re investigating teams for announcing deals at 6:01 pm so that we could talk about it on our television show. That investigation by the way is still going on. There are rumblings that penalties are coming.
Jon Krawczynski: Coming into this year, people who have talked to (Karl-Anthony Towns) say he is much more focused, he’s got a clear head. And so there is the potential for him to come in and have this monster offensive start to the season again.
Perkins claimed that Harden disappeared in the series after the games went to the South Beach in Miami. OKC won the first game, but the Heat was able to equalize. “We get to Miami and South Beach get a hold to us, right? James Harden disappeared. Completely off the face of the Earth. When we needed him the most, his numbers that I mean his numbers in the finals were mind-boggling. I don’t know what it was but i just know he wasn’t there.”
The NBA entered the 2020-21 season with seven African American coaches among its 30 teams despite the league being about 75% Black. Brown told The Undefeated that he told the Celtics ownership and front office last offseason that it was important to hire a Black head coach after Brad Stevens was promoted to president of basketball operations. The Celtics seemingly listened, hiring former NBA player Ime Udoka, who was a Brooklyn Nets assistant last season and has nine years of coaching experience, on June 28. “They were on board with it. They talked about it. It wasn’t like it was just about being African American. [Udoka is] more than qualified,” said Brown.
A huge LAPD police union is going scorched earth on the Los Angeles District Attorney after he decided NOT to charge Jaxson Hayes with a felony, following the arrest of the New Orleans Pelicans star in July. “George Gascon’s latest criminal’s first airball puts a target on the back of every police officer in Los Angeles,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League tells TMZ Sports.