Report: Wolves acquire Jimmy Butler, 16th pick from Bulls for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, 7th Pick

It actually happened!

In the first big trade of tonight’s draft, the Timberwolves have brought in All-Star Jimmy Butler, along with the 16th pick, in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the 7th overall selection.

Butler brings 3 straight All-Star games, 3 All Defense selections, and an All-NBA Third Team selection (this past season) to a Wolves team in desperate need of two-way All-Stardom. Last year, he averaged 23.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.

Outgoing is Zach LaVine, a fan (and media) favorite who was starting to blossom into a potential All-Star before he tore his ACL in February. LaVine might give the Bulls a chance to have another All-Star wing in Chicago going forward. Most in Wolves land are rooting for him. I know I am.

Kris Dunn was linked to the Bulls (and Jimmy Butler) on draft-day trade rumors last year, but ultimately Thibs wanted to see what he had. While his point guard skills were suspect in Minnesota last season, his defense thrived quickly (something that doesn’t happen often for rookies) and his tenacity was never questioned.

The Wolves will pick at 7 for the Bulls, and the Bulls at 16 for Minnesota. Stay tuned for more from the A Wolf Among Wolves team.

UPDATE: Arizona big Lauri Markkanen was selected seventh overall, expected to head to Chicago in the deal.

UPDATE: Creighton center Justin Patton has been picked 16th overall to round out the trade.

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9 Responsesso far.

  1. finchy74 says:

    I detest this trade. It’s nothing more than a short term shot to the arm to give casual Timberwolve’s fans a chance to buy some tickets to a few home playoff games, pay little attention to the game itself and then tell all their co-workers the next morning that “they were there”.

    Teams that want to win a championship don’t make this trade. Teams that are just happy to get to the playoffs do. With their young core and another high pick this year, the Wolves had a chance to put something special together that would have started to peak right as the Warriors started to “age out” of title contention.

    Now they lost a likely star in Lavine, an unknown quantity in Dunn and a potential star in Markkanen all for a guy whose skills will most likely start to erode the moment the West opens up again for competition.

    • Mebert says:

      This trade was amazing. They traded Jamal Crawford, Channimg Frye, and Kris Dunn for a super star.

      I have been dreading the Markkanen pick for weeks. Everyone talk about how he is a 7 footer that can shoot, but does he play like a 7 footer? He rebounds like a wing.

      • finchy74 says:

        I have no idea what Lavine’s ceiling is. Maybe he is Jamal Crawford. Maybe it’s something worse or maybe it’s something much better. Butler is a marvelous player, but what does he get us?

        • Mebert says:

          A winning team. Losing becomes contagious. With this trade The wolves can compete now, and in 3 years when the Warriors are starting their decline Wolves will have 25 year old KAT and Wiggins. 2 stars in the making hitting their prime. Butler may not be the same player at that point, but he will still be an elite 3rd option at 30.

          Is the young core more likely to stick around a winning or losing team? and with the Pek medical exception the Wolves will have 20 million in cap space, so who know how good they become.

          I am not worried about losing the worst defensive player in the NBA, I don’t care how pretty his dunks are.

    • Travis Hayes says:

      Butler is 27. We traded two guys outside the top 100 and the 7th pick for top 10-12 player. This was an insanely good trade.

  2. Ryan says:

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

  3. Tom says:

    We finally made a trade that makes us better. Not only do you get a player that is still very much in his prime, better than any of the players you gave up (although Zack will make an All-Star team roster at some point in his career) you also get a guy that is the same age as Ghorghi and under contract that is making slightly more than Ghorghi or Rubio, meaning you have space to give two max contracts and add some bench talent to boot.

    This was a wonderful night for wolves fans. Adding a top 15 player in the league to KAT and Wiggins as your core three tells other players that Minnesota is the place to be. When you hear LA looking at getting Paul George and maybe LBJ someday, to go along with Brook Lopez and L. Ball, the time to strike had to be now. Losing Zack is sad, but he would have cost us more than Butler next year and still be a year or two away from being the player Jimmy is now. We also got away from Markkanen. A guy that could be a good player, but at seven was to big a risk for the reward. The kid from Creighton, looks like a light version of KAT and maybe after some time in Des Moines, could be the shot blocker we need. Thibs you made me a believer.

  4. Seanie blue says:

    Zach is a fabulous human being and an outrageous talent. But he will never win in the NBA. Not only that, he is the sort of beautiful player that ensures his teammates will never win, either. His presence made Wiggins play out of position for too long, and the team was better without him, every single minute he missed. You saw it with your own eyes.

    Butler is no guaranteed winner, but he makes everyone else on his team better. And he will have huge talent next to him in KAT and Wiggins and Rubio. And free agent studs have zero interest in playing with Zach, while they will happily line up with Butler.

    A decade of incompetence is laid to rest in the Wolves front office. We might keep Wiggins and Towns after all, and maybe Taylor won’t have to sell out to Seattle.

    What a difference a draft makes.

  5. jmndodge says:

    Hate the trade – to much future for to little present. Dunn wasn’t a wasted pick – his skills improved dramatically when playing SG – skills that he also brought into his point guard play. Not much interested in what happens to the rest of the roster – KAT will be looking for a place to win – likely will play out his rookie contract and become a FA – it’s clear that Thibs isn’t part of the long term roster development that Flip and Sam had it place.

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