The Minnesota Timberwolves are rumored to be after Bulls superstar Jimmy Butler… again.
Wojnarowski’s tweet suggests the Timberwolves have the young assets and draft picks that could help the Bulls rebuild after two mediocre seasons. Two names to watch in trade talks are Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, who the Bulls rated highly heading into the 2016 NBA Draft. LaVine would likely be the headliner in such deal, giving the Bulls a young, dynamic shooting guard to build around.
These rumors are nothing new, as Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau has attempted to acquire Butler before after coaching him for four seasons in Chicago. In fact, Butler was in trade rumors to Minnesota last offseason prior to the 2016 NBA Draft.
This time around, a deal may come down to whether the Bulls are okay with an offer that doesn’t include budding-star Andrew Wiggins, who the Wolves seem set on keeping.
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In Butler, the Timberwolves would get a veteran leader entering his prime that could help the team snap their 13-year playoff drought and attract free agents to Minnesota. Teamed with Karl-Anthony Towns and Wiggins, the Timberwolves could potentially compete with the Golden State Warriors in years to come.
While a Butler-to-Minnesota deal is intriguing, the Wolves will have plenty of competition. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns are also reportedly in on the three-time All-Star with the former likely needing a third team to complete a deal.
Interestingly, the Cavaliers would likely trade former Wolves forward Kevin Love to that third team, who would then trade young assets and/or draft picks to the Bulls.
Butler boasts career averages of 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.5 steals, but has averaged 20 plus points in each of his last three seasons. Last season, Butler had career-highs of 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
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