Timberwolves Land Jimmy Butler From Bulls in Draft-Day Trade

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Jimmy Butler and Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau are together again.

After four seasons together with the Chicago Bulls, followed by two years apart after Thibs’ ouster there, Butler, along with the 16th overall pick, is joining his former coach thanks to a trade consummated during the 2017 NBA Draft.

In return, the Bulls receive two-time dunk contest winner Zach LaVine, 2016 fifth overall pick Kris Dunn, and this year’s No. 7 pick.

In Butler, the Timberwolves land an in-his-prime star on an amazing contract (two years for under $20 million per, with a player option for a third) to flank their talented young guns in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.

The move signals a rebuild for Chicago. LaVine averaged an efficient 18.9 points per game as a 21-year-old last year, but his season ended after 47 games thanks to an ACL tear, which might or might not affect his athleticism going forward. 

Dunn, 23, shot terribly across the board (37.7 percent from the field, 28.8 from three, 61 from the free throw line) but impressed on the defensive end in his first season. He also did this to Shabazz Napier.


With the No. 7 overall pick, the Bulls selected sweet-shooting seven-footer Lauri Markkanen out of Arizona. With the 16th pick, the Timberwolves selected Creighton center Justin Patton.