Jimmy Butler has been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. Here’s how this trade impacts the Boston Celtics.
The Minnesota Timberwolves finally ended their fiasco and traded Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers. Behind the excitement of this trade, it’s hard not to think how this directly impacts the Boston Celtics.
Butler is once again a member of the Eastern Conference. To start the year, the Celtics looked like they were the favorites to win the East. However, the Toronto Raptors have had a red-hot start to the season, holding the best record in the NBA at 12-1.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers are good teams, but not many anticipated the Bucks starting this well. Then there’s the 76ers, who got a whole lot better through the Butler trade. That is, of course, if nothing dramatic happens in Philadelphia like it has when Butler was a part of the Chicago Bulls and Timberwolves.
Right now the Celtics are sixth in the conference after another loss Sunday night. Here’s a look at the standings as of now:
- Toronto Raptors: 12-1
- Milwaukee Bucks: 10-3
- Philadelphia 76ers: 8-6
- Indiana Pacers: 8-6
- Charlotte Hornets: 7-6
- Boston Celtics: 7-6
- Detroit Pistons: 6-6
- Brooklyn Nets: 6-7
Oddly enough, the Celtics have had a slow start to the season. The main reason for this has been the team’s offensive struggles. Boston has had issue s all season long from players like Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and a few others (though Irving has picked it up as of late).
After the Butler trade, it’s not hard to wonder if the Sixers and Raptors are the two best teams in the East. The Bucks have put them in that mix with their hot start. Before the Bucks played their way into the conversation, the Celtics, Raptors and Sixers were thought to be the three top teams.
It’s still way too early in the season to determine where each team will place, but the Celtics don’t want to get to the point in the season and realize that it’s too late to make a move. This deal by the Sixers could potentially push Boston outside of the top-three.
The Celtics have several assets they could move. The trade deadline isn’t till early February, so the team does have time. Because the Celtics have so much talent already, a trade doesn’t necessarily have to be a blockbuster, but one that potentially shores up some offensive struggles.
The best assets they have to offer are Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and draft picks. Despite Hayward’s early season struggles, he doesn’t have the value other teams would want right now given his contract. Once he knocks off the rust from his injury, he may return to an All-Star form. He just needs time and it would be unlikely he’s moved.
Come December and January, the Celtics must evaluate where they are. The Eastern Conference is a lot stronger now and they haven’t looked like the same team everyone expected coming into the season.
This trade impacts the Celtics to the point that they may need to potentially make a deal. The Sixers certainly got a lot better by adding four-time All-Star Butler, who will add toughness, defense and offense to Philadelphia. Because of Boston’s slow start and early season woes, the Celtics may be on the outside looking in for the time being.