Danny Ainge almost traded the Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown picks in a deal for Jimmy Butler


“Some of the best trades I ever made were the ones that I wasn’t able to make.”

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown Jim Davis/Globe Staff

After watching the Miami Heat close out the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s fair to wonder what it would be like if Jimmy Butler was wearing green.

As it turns out, Danny Ainge attempted to trade for Butler towards the beginning of his career with the Chicago Bulls. However, Chicago’s asking price was too high.

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“Some of the best trades I ever made were the ones that I wasn’t able to make,” Ainge said during an interview with The Players Tribune. “Like, I was trying to get Jimmy Butler from Chicago when I was in Boston but they wanted a lot. And so we didn’t do it, and it would have ended up being Jaylen and Jayson, those two draft picks that we got Jaylen and Jayson with.”

After acquiring the picks in a trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics selected Brown and Tatum in back-to-back years.

They’ve emerged as one of the NBA’s best duos, and have led the Celtics to five of the last seven Eastern Conference Finals.

Brown signed the NBA’s richest contract, a 5-year $304 million supermax extension, last month. Tatum has been a first-team All-NBA selection the past two seasons.

Butler, who is a six-time all-star, has led the Heat to a pair of Finals appearances. But, it appears that Ainge is glad he didn’t make the trade.

Originally posted 2023-08-15 21:40:53.