Timberwolves acquire Butler from Bulls for LaVine, Dunn and seventh pick


A Bulls source did say that the team has wanted this rebuild all along, and that the Timberwolves offer was by far the best one they received for Butler. Defense is still a big need but the addition of Butler greatly lowers that need. The returns on that trade are not yet official (reportedly Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and this selection), but the Markkanen selection is a questionable one for Chicago by any measure. The team is very eager to get Butler is the Celtics.

According to Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago, Wade will stick with his original word and pick up his player option for the year. He averaged a career-high 23.9 points last season as the Bulls were 41-41 and qualified for the postseason as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Timberwolves have drafted Arizona's Lauri Markkanen with the No. 7 overall pick for the Chicago Bulls after the two teams agreed to a blockbuster deal that sends three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler to Minnesota.

However, we have no idea what the ACL tear LaVine suffered in February will do to his game. Thibodeau appears to be making a concerted effort in his second season running the Timberwolves to make a playoff push, and getting a star in his prime is a good way to do it.

During Butler's four seasons playing for Thibodeau in Chicago, he averaged 11.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 29.7 minutes per game.

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Dunn is a player that did not really show anything in his rookie season with Minnesota. Butler, who is 27 and has two years and approximately $38.4 million left on his contract with a $19.8 million player option in 2019-20, averaged 23.9 points, 5.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds and was one of the top perimeter defenders in the league. In terms of true shooting percentage, which takes into account 3-point shots and free throws, Dunn was second-to-last in the National Basketball Association previous year with a 43.2 percent mark. If anything, his debut year was a blinking neon warning sign that the player the Bulls loved during last year's draft process wasn't what Dunn actually is at the next level. He was the first true center to get picked on the night.

Some other names that weren't called included Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks, who were stars of North Carolina's title run this year. If Butler succeeds, there will be no questions about his status as a superstar.

The Los Angeles Lakers fulfilled the vision of Lonzo Ball's garrulous, provocative father in Thursday night's National Basketball Association draft, selecting the virtuoso passer from UCLA with the second overall pick. They just moved up nine spots.

So again, let's go back to that check list and see how the Bulls did. The draft pick, though, surprised me. Nothing doing there, either. Maybe Gar Forman and John Paxson have some master plan that's yet to become clear, but based on their track record over the last bunch of years, the safe bet is probably against that idea.