I hear this argument and I just don’t get it.
If this were Toronto, the Wiz, or Cavs I’d understand, but the Bulls are not going to be competing with the Celts in the playoffs for a long, long time. Technically, yes, they’re conference opponents, but in actuality they’re not realistically competing with Boston. In fact, next season they should actually want to lose for a higher pick.
Also, if there’s one person they wouldn’t want to do any favors for it’s Thibs. That was a very acrimonious divorce.
So yeah, I’m not buying it. I suspect Ainge low-balled them and/or would rather give that money to Hayward.