As NBA trade rumors come in fast and furious, Jimmy Butler is one of the sexiest names out there.
But at this deadline, the Boston Celtics hold all the cards.
If a player of Butler's stature -- along with Indiana's Paul George or another All-Star -- is moved by Thursday, it's a pretty safe bet that the Celtics will be involved.
Boston has the rights to the next two years of Brooklyn first-round picks -- two amazing assets given how dreadful the Nets are at the moment.
This, as well as a group of young talented players already on their roster, gives Boston the ability to put together enticing trade packages that could fulfill nearly any of general manager Danny Ainge's wish list.
It sounds like Ainge is willing to part with one of the Brooklyn picks for George, and possibly for Butler. However, according to David Aldridge of TNT, what happens next is where there's a bit of a stalemate.
As Aldridge says, the Bulls would want more than just draft compensation for Butler, an All-Star starter at age 27.
They'll want players, either a young player with All-Star potential such as Jaylen Brown, or a promising rotation player with a desirable contract such as Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder, who was Butler's college teammate at Marquette.
It seems like the inclusion of Crowder is the biggest sticking point that could prevent the Butler deal from getting done.
Crowder, 26, has developed into a reliable starter for the Celtics, scoring 14.1 points per game for coach Brad Stevens over the last two seasons.
Perhaps more importantly, Crowder's contract is among the most team-friendly in the NBA, as he is locked up through 2019-20 at about $7 million per season.
One of the reasons it might be intriguing for Butler to play for the Celtics might be the reunion he could have with Crowder.
However, it's ironic that it's because of his college teammate's value that Butler might end up staying put instead.News Now - Sport News