Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago, Boston still talking about…

Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago, Boston still talking about a Jimmy Butler trade, league sources tell @The Vertical.

More on Jimmy Butler to Celtics?

The Boston Celtics have been pursuing a number of established veterans in the buildup to Thursday's NBA draft, offering trade packages built around the No. 3 overall pick, according to league sources. But sources told ESPN that the Celtics, to date, have been rebuffed in their efforts to assemble a sufficiently enticing deal to acquire any of these four prime targets: Chicago Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward and Milwaukee Bucks teammates Jabari Parker or Khris Middleton.
The Bulls, sources say, continue to show little interest in dealing Butler to the Celtics, who previously tried to trade for him before the league's annual deadline in February.
Sources say that the Bulls naturally would demand a significant amount in return to part with Butler, which likely translates to at least one front-line player in addition to a top lottery pick this month.
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."
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.
“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.”
Storyline: Jimmy Butler to Celtics?
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Karl-Anthony Towns trade request unlikely

SiriusXM NBA Radio: Could a Karl-Anthony Towns trade request be the next shoe to drop in Minnesota? 🔊 @JonKrawczynski tells @talkhoops & @hoopscritic why he doesn’t believe that’s the case right now. #RaisedByWolves. “There are no indications that he is ready to go that route.” – Jon Krawczynski.

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It’s looking more and more like the last professional sports league that will come to Las Vegas – if it actually ever happens – will be the NBA. The first league to embrace Sin City currently has no plans to expand or relocate. Meanwhile Las Vegas officials are working on attracting an MLB team and an MLS team over the next few years. Executives from the Oakland Athletics have made numerous trips to Las Vegas over the past year, looking at different locations for a possible $1 billion new stadium. A’s president Dave Kaval told the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently that they have reduced their list of potential stadium sites in Las Vegas from 20 to 10-12 and will release a list of the finalists sometime after the World Series.
He’s partnering with Raoul Thomas, an investment banker who is the founder and CEO of CGI Merchant Group, on a program to help athletes learn more about investments, particularly in real estate. “CGI’s educational platform allows us to fulfill our mission of creating equal generational opportunities for all,” Thomas said in a statement. “Wayne and I have each had our fair share of mentors throughout our careers, which is why we’re so passionate about paying it forward. Through this platform, we aim to mentor other athletes and entertainment professionals to break the stigma and make winning plays both in and out of uniform to secure long-term financial success.”
Ellington isn’t the first athlete turned money man — it’s the plot of HBO’s series “Ballers” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But Ellington’s role as a current athlete taking on this side project is a little unusual. “This program is going to allow guys to learn about investing before actually putting in money,” Ellington said. “…Yeah, I mean, having skin in the game, obviously, is a huge part. I would never vouch for anything and I would never try to get guys to do anything that I’m not doing myself.”