Bulls trade Butler to Timberwolves

Posted June 27, 2017

After six strong seasons in Chicago, the Bulls agreed to trade Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and a swap of first-round picks in this year's draft.

Bulls fans were not impressed with the deal.

The Bulls were calling the move a rebuild, but there are strong indications that this was a front office that also didn't want to have to eventually pay Butler almost $246 million had he qualified for the super-max extension. "So, I think we still have some work to do and I know we're going to be meeting and talking about that". The two sides engaged in serious discussions on draft night previous year, almost reaching a deal that would have included LaVine and Dunn - whom the Bulls were very high on coming out of Providence - for Butler.

The Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves on the day of the NBA Draft. Dunn had a mediocre season for the T-Wolves, but LaVine has the potential to light up the stat sheets. LaVine was drafted by the Wolves with the 13th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Lavine's numbers in his three seasons with the Timberwolves aren't bad, either. The three time all-star has averaged over 20 points a game in each of the last three seasons, including last year's career high of just under 24 a game.

"We have to find some guys that will come off our bench that are probably either shooters or that can provide a defensive presence when we're starting to have some problems", Taylor said.

A true leader strives to go out of his way to make his teammates play better on the court.

Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in his only season of USA college basketball at the University of Arizona. Moreover, he averaged 42.7 percent from beyond the three-point line, which is unheard of for a player of his stature.

They then flipped that No. 7 pick into Arizona stretch-four Lauri Markkanen, giving the Bulls - at least on paper - a backcourt of the future in Dunn and LaVine, and then a big that will stretch the floor, setting the stage for some flexibility to let Nikola Mirotic walk if an outrageous offer comes in for the restricted free agent. His height is an advantage at 7 feet, and played as a center in Creighton.

I've criticized "GarPax" on a number of moves this year. Oklahoma City has the possible MVP Russell Westbrook. Nevertheless, this is as one-sided as a deal for a star gets. In short, best-case scenario, he's the kind of big man that a franchise can build around. With a team like the Bulls engineering the trade, they deserve the vitriol, but a wait-and-see approach should always be given. This is just part of the growing pains that come with a rebuild. Absolutely. But at this point, the Bulls have to worry about developing a team.