By Moke Hamilton
Once upon a time, the Celtics could have traded for Jimmy Butler, only they didn’t.
As the former All-Star appears to be at odds with the Timberwolves, it would appear that forgoing the opportunity is something Danny Ainge should be credited for.
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In the days leading up to the 2016 NBA Draft, the Bulls were reportedly shopping Butler, with one trade scenario having the Celtics sending Jae Crowder and two first round picks to the Bulls in exchange for him. One of those two first round picks was the third overall pick in the 2016 draft—the very pick that was used to select Brown.
According to a 2016 report from K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, the Bulls would have selected Kris Dunn with the third overall pick:
The Bulls held advanced discussions with the Celtics centered on Butler and the No. 3 pick, with whom they would’ve selected Providence guard Kris Dunn, league sources said. Several proposals were exchanged, including one with Jae Crowder and the Celtics’ No. 3 and No. 16 picks, league sources...