After a year-plus of their star being in trade rumors, the Chicago Bulls finally pulled the trigger in the moments leading into tonight’s NBA draft. Jimmy Butler has been traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Bulls are getting Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the 7th pick, per sources. Bulls keep 16th pick.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 22, 2017
The Bulls will also be sending the TWolves #16, so it’s still one 2017 draft selection at #7 in this year’s draft.
This was close to the return Bulls would’ve had last year, and Jimmy Butler only improved. Meanwhile, Kris Dunn was coveted by the Bulls last year before he was drafted, but underperformed as an older rookie which is a major concern. Zach Lavine is the ‘younger and more athletic’ player who has great shooting and finishing ability (and could’ve been selected over Doug McDermott...) but tore his ACL last year and won’t be ready for the start of the season. And though this is reputed as a deep draft, the #7 overall pick typically doesn’t produce the type of player who can replace Jimmy Butler, even long term.
We’ll have a ton more on the future of the Bulls. But it certainly is a move that has the Bulls ‘picking a direction’. That direction is down the toilet. While any trade of a star like Butler should include at least one blue-chip prospect, or maybe multiple swings at a future superstar, this is multiple swings at rotational players at best. They may get a great pick in 2018 as their team will be among the worst in the league.
Butler goes to reunite with coach (and GM), Tom Thibodeau, who has gotten his revenge on the Bulls for firing him. And the complete joke that is the Bulls front office remains to try and build again.