Blakely: How does Rose trade impact Celtics' chances at Butler?

Blakely: How does Rose trade impact Celtics' chances at Butler?

BOSTON – Derrick Rose, a Chicago prodigy who was selected by his hometown Bulls with the No. 1 pick in 2008, will take his talents (what’s left of them, anyway) to the New York Knicks after being traded on Tuesday.

Now that Rose has found a new home, will Jimmy Butler be next?

That has to be at or near the forefront of Butler’s thoughts now that the Bulls are officially his team to steer forward.

They added Robin Lopez along with Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon.

On paper, it’ll make them deeper until you remember that those guys will be counted on to fill the void left by Rose, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol – all former All-Stars.

Which is why Butler will have to think long and hard about demanding a trade.

Because the way this team is assembled now, they’ll be worse than they were last season when they failed to make the playoffs.

Of course the Bulls front office will try and sell Butler on the idea that this is his team and they’ll only go as far as he can take them.

And of course Butler knows they’ll need more than him at the top of his game, for Chicago to be as good or better than they were a year ago.

The Bulls won’t say it, but getting rid of Rose was the first tangible step in their rebuilding process.

And while Butler is only 26 years old, he has established himself as one of the premier players in this league. The last thing he wants to do at this point is spend prime years of his NBA life trying to lead a really bad team towards respectability.

That’s where the Celtics come in.

If the Bulls are ready to embrace a full-blown rebuilding process, then the Celtics are very much a team they will want to partner up with.

Boston has draft picks and young talent, two essential building blocks for any team that’s looking to rebuild.

And the Celtics present a clearer path towards title contention for Butler, then the current crew he’s with in Chicago.

But the Bulls will have a shot this summer to bolster their roster to make it more appealing for Butler to embrace being part of going forward.

They need to add players who can come in and hit the ground running that can not only play but also play to the strengths of Butler.

Like most athletic wings, Butler could benefit from having more players on the floor who can help in spacing. That’s why Chicago needs to make New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson a huge priority.

Chicago could also use a point guard with a bit more cache than what they currently have.

One name we’ll likely see as a potential Bulls target is former Celtic Rajon Rondo.

Adding those players coupled with the ones they acquired in trading Rose, certainly gives the Bulls a very good shot at getting back to the playoffs which may be enough to appease Butler.

But if he’s looking to go the Rose route and be traded, you can bet the Celtics will be among the teams best positioned to strike a deal. 

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

1:31 - With the results of Kyrie Irving’s second opinion on he knee looming, the Celtic’s season is certainly up in the air. A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Mannix, Kyle Draper and Gary Tanguay debate how and if Kyrie should be used if he returns.

6:02 - Back in October Michael Felger prematurely said the Bruins season was over. The B’s marketing team featured Felger in an ad for playoff tickets now that the Bruins have clinched the playoffs. Felger, Trenni and Gary react to the commercial and discuss the Bruins playoff chances.

11:47 - The Patriots are making moves! on Tursday the Pats made deals with LaAdrian Waddle, Marquis Flowers and Patrick Chung. Phil Perry, Michael Holley, Troy Brown and Tom Curran discuss how despite these moves, the Patriots should still be in search of a left tackle.

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

File Photo

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

BOSTON – We live in a world filled with success stories that came about by accident. 

The invention of the microwave oven.

Post-It notes.

The creation of potato chips.

The Boston Celtics’ game-winning play against Oklahoma City earlier this week qualfies; a play in which there were multiple miscues made by the Celtics prior to Marcus Morris’ game-winning shot. 


All these Celtics injuries have made Brad Stevens a mad scientist of sorts with some unusual lineups that may be on display tonight against the guard-centric Portland Trail Blazers. 

In Boston’s 100-99 win over the Thunder on Tuesday, we saw Stevens utilize a lineup with Al Horford and Greg Monroe, in four different stints.

Monroe, who had 17 points off the bench - the most he has scored as a Celtic -  enjoyed playing with Horford.

“Al’s so smart. He’s seen it all in this league,” Monroe told NBC Sports Boston. “He’s an all-star. Very cerebral player, unselfish. So it’s easy playing with him. He can space, drive, make plays. I feel like I can make plays, driving. It’s fun playing with him. I look forward to getting out there with him more.”

Horford had similar praise for playing with Monroe.

“Coach (Brad Stevens) made a great move bringing Greg back in, in the fourth, playing us together,” Horford said. “He made some great plays, passing the ball and just … timely plays. It’s one of those things, the more we play with each other the more comfortable we’ll get. I thought it was very positive.”

Monroe’s role has become significantly more important with the season-ending injury (torn meniscus, left knee) to Daniel Theis. And his ability to play well with various lineups will only improve Boston’s chances of weathering this latest storm of injuries which comes on the eve of the playoffs. 

And while there’s a certain amount of pleasure all players take in being on a playoff-bound team, Monroe understands better than most NBA veterans just how special it is to be headed towards the postseason.

In his eighth season, this will only be Monroe’s second time participating in the playoffs. 

The first time? 

That was last year, with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

“This is what everybody plays for, I hope,” Monroe said. “This is what I play for, to get into the postseason, make a run. It’s the best situation. I’ve been through a lot in my career, this year. I’m grateful. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team.”

And he has done that lately.

Monroe comes into tonight’s game having scored in double figures each of the last four games, a season high for the 6-foot-11 center. 

Having spent most of his NBA career watching instead of participating in the playoffs, Monroe is out to prove that he can in fact be a significant contributor to a team that’s postseason-bound.

“For sure. You have to have a little chip, a little fire, at least in my eyes,” Monroe said. “I’ve never doubted myself. It’s about being between those lines and being the best player I can be. That’s what I’m focused on.”