By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s been a pretty eventful week in NBA action, with LeBron James going to the Lakers, DeMarcus Cousins going to the Warriors, Paul George re-signing with the Thunder serving as the biggest stories. But one story on Tuesday has got the NBA world talking, and it involves a move that hasn’t been made and might never happen.

It comes from Chicago Sun-Times writer Joe Cowley, who reported that Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler and Celtics guard Kyrie Irving have designs on teaming up together. From Cowley:

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.

Cowley added that Butler doesn’t plan on signing an extension with Minnesota, as he is “all but fed up with the nonchalant attitude of his younger teammates, specifically Karl-Anthony Towns.”

This is, of course, just one unconfirmed report. It comes from a reporter who is not one of the country’s most trusted sources. (Some internet users find him to be completely unreliable. He’s also made headlines in the past that don’t necessarily scream “Serious Reporter.”) The report may well be disproved quickly.

Nevertheless, in the NBA, rumors often win the day. And this would represent a rather massive one. If true, it adds a level of complexity for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge over the coming season, as Irving heads toward free agency.

In the meanwhile, the Celtics will be contending for a championship. But if Irving and Butler do one day end up as teammates — either this year, next year, or beyond — we’ll at least know then that it was a long time coming.


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