NBA: Chicago Bulls Send Jimmy Butler To Minnesota Timberwolves For Zach LaVine And Kris Dunn
The Minnesota Timberwolves have acquired three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls in a draft-night deal that reunites him with former coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached the Bulls for five seasons before being fired in 2015.
Butler gives Thibodeau the tough-minded scorer and hard-nosed defender that he has been searching for to complement a promising young core.
The Bulls, meanwhile, acquired guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine as well as the No. 7 overall pick Thursday night, which was used to select 7-footer Lauri Markkanen from Arizona.
“What we’ve done tonight is set a direction,” said John Paxson, the Bulls’ vice president of basketball operations. “We’re going to do it with young players. We’re going to be disciplined and patient.
“These are hard things to do. We traded a guy we really like. Tonight, we made a decision to change direction and define our path.”
The Wolves meanwhile paid a big price: Besides surrendering the lottery pick, they gave up a rising star in LaVine, who is coming off of a torn ACL and Dunn, last year’s No. 5 overall pick.
Butler was in Paris when he learned of the trade, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. He found out from his agent, Bernie Lee, at about 2 a.m. Paris time.
When asked about the deal, Butler told Goodman he did not have a comment.
Following the Butler deal, Minnesota’s odds to win the 2017-18 NBA title improved from 100-1 to 60-1 at Westgate Las Vegas. The Bulls went from 100-1 to 200-1.