The Minnesota Timberwolves managed to snag Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls last night, and the price they paid for him leaves me wondering how the hell no other teams snapped him up first. Instead, the Bulls gambled by trading away one of the league's best two-way players and their most successful draft pick in recent memory.
A deal could still get done, and free agency is coming up, so we'll see what happens, but if this same team takes the ice in October, the same results will follow, an early playoff exit or not making the playoffs at all. I truly struggle with the words because you've been so much more than just my home for the last 6 years, you've been my life!
In no universe should a 27-year-old star entering his prime, with two years left on his team-friendly contract that pays less than $20 million per season, be traded for an underwhelming package of Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and essentially a pick swap of No16 for No7.
Kicked out of his house in Tomball, Texas, by his mother when he was 13 and with his father out of his life, Butler ultimately rose to stardom in Chicago after being selected No. 30 overall in 2011. The Timberwolves wanted Butler and the number 14 pick, Denzel Valentine in exchange for Dunn and LaVine.
However, just because it looks like the Bulls got killed in the trade now doesn't mean it can't look favorable later.
If you don't know these names yet, the Bulls plan to help you get familiar.
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After the last couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if this was true. They did so much for me, and gave me an opportunity to be as great as I could make myself.
The biggest wins over the next few seasons will have to come off the court - in practice sessions and player development, in impact rookies and roster building. The two players would have been fine, but again, I have no idea what the Wolves' draft strategy was going to be.
Butler refused to accept the mantel as a "face of the franchise" for the Timberwolves now that he's been traded, and says that he's focused on just playing basketball instead of whatever labels are placed on him.
"We see him as more of a role player, sixth man, scoring threat off the bench, with an ability to become a Channing Frye-type player", a scout told Bleacher Report in December.
The Bulls were ready, despite their claims that this was a decision that came across their table right before the draft, because common sense has to be applied. However, they did accomplish the goal of ostensibly creating a new core in one night.
"There's always risk in anything", Paxson said. "I guess being called the face of an organization isn't as good as I thought", he said. Nevertheless, this is as one-sided as a deal for a star gets.
The first things they should do is immediately cut ties with Brandon Rush, Omri Casspi and Adreian Payne. He has the right to say whatever he wants to say.
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