Jimmy Butler is finally a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It took over a year for Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau to pull off his first trade with the team. His first trade went down on Thursday and it was a big one with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler.
The trade went down with the Wolves sending Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the number seven overall draft pick to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls sent Butler to the Wolves along with the 16th overall pick.
The seventh pick which now belongs to the Bulls was used to choose Finnish 7-footer Lauri Markkanen. The 16th overall pick which now belongs to the Wolves was used to select Creighton freshman center Justin Patton.
The deal has been rumored for a long while, including during last year’s draft. The Bulls have been high on Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine for a while and Thibodeau has wanted to get Butler back on his team since taking over the Wolves. The deal almost got done a year ago with the same basic parts, but it didn’t finally go down until 2017.
According to ESPN, Butler is currently in France. Butler is reportedly attending fashion shows with now former teammate Dwyane Wade and other NBA superstars like Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Carmelo Anthony.
The main complaint from Wolves fans will be the departure of Zach LaVine. LaVine looks to be a budding potential superstar himself. He had his season cut short with a torn ACL in the 2016-2017 season. Before the injury, LaVine was averaging 18.9 points. LaVine was also a fan favorite after winning multiple Slam Dunk Contests.
Dunn was selected in the first round of the draft last year by the Wolves, but did not produce much on the court. Dunn was also one of three point guards the Wolves had on their roster along with Ricky Rubio and Tyus Jones.
What the Wolves get is a three-time All-Star whom has years of experience playing for Tom Thibodeau. Butler has increased his points per game average in every season. This past season Butler averaged 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while playing in 76 games for the Bulls.
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Butler has played six seasons in the NBA and they have all been with the Chicago Bulls. Butler won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 2014-2015 under the coaching of Thibodeau. The 27 year old had the sixth best win share two years ago and the third best last season. Butler also had the fifth best value over replacement player rating last season according to Basketball Reference.
The move is a big time move for the Wolves. The addition of Butler puts the Wolves on a path to not only make the playoffs, but make a postseason push. Butler will be a major cog in the dominate Wolves teams to come with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
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