Celtics Roster & Starting Lineup if Jimmy Butler Signed in 2019

jimmy butler

Getty Rumors have Kyrie Irving and Kyrie Irving looking to join forces in 2019.

After a quiet start to free agency, the Celtics have been linked to Jimmy Butler, who is not a free agent until 2019. The Celtics would either have to wait a year to sign him in free agency, or try to acquire him via trade with the Timberwolves. The rumors stem from a Chicago Sun Times’ Joe Cowley report that notes Kyrie Irving would like to play with Butler.

A league source close to the situation told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that Kyrie Irving and former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler are still trying to figure out a way to play together. Whether that means the Celtics try and acquire Butler this summer or the two simply wait a year, both opt out of their player options after the season, and join forces that way.

Either way, the two former Team USA Basketball teammates are looking for a destination to build an elite backcourt, whether that’s in Celtics green or elsewhere in the East.

Not that this hasn’t been lurking for quite some time, either.

Last June, the Sun-Times was the first to report that Irving was looking to get out of Cleveland, with the Bulls being on his wish list. He made that known to several of his former Team USA teammates, including Butler.

Here’s an early look at what the Celtics roster and starting lineup could look like if Boston waited until 2019 to try to pursue Butler. Keep in mind this roster will continue to look different as free agency goes on as well as the 2019 NBA draft.


Celtics Roster & Projected Starting Lineup With Jimmy Butler in 2019-20

C- Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Robert Williams, Daniel Theis
PF- Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris,
SF- Jimmy Butler, Semi Ojeleye, Abdel Nader
SG- Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown
PG- Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Kadeem Allen

Celtics Free Agents 2018: Greg Monroe (UFA), Marcus Smart (RFA), Shane Larkin (UFA), Jonathan Gibson (UFA), Jabari Bird (RFA)
Celtics Free Agents 2019: Al Horford (PO), Marcus Morris (UFA), Kyrie Irving (PO), Terry Rozier (RFA), Guerschon Yabusele (TO), Jayson Tatum (TO), Jaylen Brown (TO), Daniel Theis (UFA), Kadeem Allen (RFA)


According to Real GM’s Keith Smith’s projections, the Celtics are projected to be over the cap at $28.8 million, but could get under the cap by as much as $65.4 million. Horford and Irving could both be free agents so it might be difficult for the Celtics to fit all three player’s salaries under the cap, but the cap is projected to go up again next summer.

Horford is set to make $30.1 million during the 2019-20 season, which would be a difficult number for him to find on the open market. Horford would not exercise his player option if he feels like he could not find the same deal on the open market. The only exception would be if Horford opted out, and signed a more team-friendly deal for more years.

It is also worth noting that the Celtics could have as many as four first round picks in the 2019 draft picks. They will have their own selection plus potentially picks from the Clippers, Grizzlies and Kings, unless the protections are met.

Let’s take a look at the current Celtics roster and starting lineup with Hayward and Irving expected to be back for next season. This will continue to change as the Celtics re-sign some of their own players, and add additional pieces through free agency.


Celtics Roster & Projected Starting Lineup for 2018-19

C- Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Robert Williams, Daniel Theis
PF- Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris,
SF- Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye, Abdel Nader
SG- Gordon Hayward
PG- Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Kadeem Allen

Celtics Free Agents 2018: Greg Monroe (UFA), Marcus Smart (RFA), Shane Larkin (UFA), Jonathan Gibson (UFA), Jabari Bird (RFA)

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