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.