January 23, 2018

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Bulls trade Butler to Timberwolves

27 June 2017

The deal could not quite be completed and Butler went through a frustrating season with the Bulls, who brought in Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo in hopes of squeezing some more immediate success out of the group. He will be playing for a different team.

There were also rumors that the Chicago Bulls sat down with the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the overall No. 3 pick from Thursday's NBA Draft.

While the Jimmy Butler trade has been official for a few days now, the media is still reacting to what the news means for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Butler blasted the Bulls for lacking loyalty toward players that they consider the "face of the franchise", and questioned the logic behind affixing that label to anyone. Taylor talked to Butler on Thursday night and said Butler was "excited about coming here". Bulls vice president spoke on the team's move saying that the move is a new direction for the team. Dunn won back-to-back Big East Player of the Year awards while at Providence (2014-15 and 2015-16).

For instance, Kris Dunn struggled as a rookie, leaving people to write him off already. Last year's results suggest that process in Minnesota is ongoing. Yet, instead of shouldering the blame as true leaders do when things aren't going smoothly on the court, Butler would rather place blame on others. Moving forward, if he can keep in good shape, he could be a valuable asset for Chicago.

Bulls fans could argue that LaVine is further along offensively in his 3rd season than Butler was in his. It was visible in his numbers.

The Wolves drafted Arizona's sharpshooting forward Markkanen for the Bulls, while Chicago took Creighton forward Justin Patton at number 16 for Minnesota, who have gone 13 seasons in a row without reaching the playoffs. At the end, they parted with the All-Star for pennies on the dollar.

Veteran talent can be resourceful, but the Bulls have a solid blend of veteran talent.

And maybe that's why Butler is the flawless player to help Thibodeau turn what was a rebuilding project into a Western Conference contender, possibly sooner than later.

Without Butler next season Chicago will be shooting for the stars, and crossing their fingers for a playoff appearance at the very least. His departure has coincided with a downturn in Chicago's fortunes, although Thibodeau fared even worse with a young Timberwolves squad last season, going 31-51.

When Butler was with the Bulls, he had two seasons to either earn MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, or make an All-NBA team to earn the Designated Player Extension (DPE). Boston ended their season.

It was quite the week for Butler on his European vacation, first hearing from Cleveland players that they wanted him to push for a deal to head there, only for them to backtrack because of the uncertainty within the Cavs organization.