What Does The Jimmy Butler Trade Mean For The Wolves and Bulls?
The NBA draft did not provide a lot of excitement in terms of trading nad moving by teams. There were many rumors and potential trades/moves being discussed.
The Bulls had been looking to move Jimmy Butler since last season and the Timberwolves have always been linked to the trade because of the link between Butler and Coach Tom Thibodeau.
They finally struck a deal on Thursday as the Bulls sent Butler and Justin Patton to the Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen.
So where does this leave both teams?
The Timberwolves come away as the clear winner on this deal. They essentially swapped picks and unloaded LaVine who is coming off of an ACL injury and Kris Dunn who severely underperformed last season.
In return, they are adding a bonafide superstar player. Butler is not only an offensive weapon that can help the Timberwolves in terms of shooting but also provides them with an upgrade at the defensive end. Butler also provides a ‘veteran’ presence despite only being 27-years-old.
Butler averaged 23.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 5.5 APG last season. He will share a lot of scoring responsibility with the young duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
For the Chicago Bulls, they have entered a form of rebuild. They didn’t take the normal approach through tanking a season but instead have let pieces of the team go separate ways to build a new roster.
The addition of LaVine, Dunn, and Markkanen add an injection of youth to the team as they are 22, 23, and 20 respectively.
LaVine is coming off of an ACL tear last season, so there are still questions as to how he will play after that. He is coming off a breakout year though, as he averaged 18.9 PPG. If LaVine can continue to improve as he has the past three years, the Bulls may have found a player to which they can build around.
Dunn was supposed to be the player that finally made the Timberwolves pull the trigger on moving Ricky Rubio. However, he spent most of the season fighting to share the court and point spot with Tyus Jones. Dunn was not much of a scoring threat and provided terrible shooting in terms of percentage. The potential is there though if the Bulls can bring it out. Perhaps having more time on the court and more control in the offense can help Dunn develop quicker.
One thing is for sure. The Timberwolves have entered win now mode with this trade with Chicago. After they underperformed last season, they are looking to make the jump into the playoffs and end their 13-year drought.
Chicago, on the other hand, is starting to build for their future. They will be greatly helped in that endeavor when Dwyane Wade’s contract is expired next season.