When I got a push notification last week that Jimmy Butler, superstar small forward for the Bulls, had been traded to the Minnesota, I had some questions.
The big one was: did the Wolves trade Wiggins? They must at least have had to give up Wiggins right?
Nope. The Bulls received shooting guard Zach Lavine, point guard Kris Dunn and the 7th pick in this year’s draft. Not only that, but they traded the Wolves the 16th pick in this year’s draft. So they only moved up 9 spots.
Huh. I highly doubt that’s the best they could do.
In trading an asset like Butler, you are acknowledging you’ll be bad for the foreseeable future. That’s understandable, as Butler was only carrying the Bulls to mediocrity anyway. But the return must be promising young prospects and/or multiple high draft picks.
But the Bulls got back:
A guy with a torn ACL, whose team did better when he wasn’t on the court. (Lavine)
A 23-year-old guard coming off of a disastrous rookie season. (Dunn)
The 7th pick instead of the 16th pick. (They picked Lauri Markkanen, a seven-foot shooter from Finland)
I don’t see a potential superstar there. I see 20 wins next season.
The Bulls front office is so bad right now. It’s actually quite astonishing how bad it is.
General Manager Gar Forman and VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson both have no idea what they’re doing. Paxson actually confirmed it the other day, when he explained why the Bulls inexplicably sold the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Warriors.
“And it keeps us now, with we’re at 12 roster spots, it gives us real flexibility with our roster. We didn’t want to just use up a roster spot on a player that we probably wouldn’t have kept,” he said.
John. During the offseason, your maximum roster size is 20! It’s 15 during the season!
I’m not sure how these guys got hired, but it sure gives me hope that I can run an NBA team one day, as long as I make the right connections. And I definitely wouldn’t trade a superstar for pennies on the dollar.
Anyway, enough about the Bulls. Let’s move on to a team not being run by clowns.
As we know, the Wolves are loaded with some of the best young talent in the association.
Butler might just make them a contender. When Butler was on the floor this year, the Bulls outscored opponents by 3.3 points per game. When he was off, they were outscored by 7.8 points.
It’s pretty simple: Butler plays elite offense and defense. He’ll make the team much better.
The only issue I can see going forward is the lack of shooting on the team. Butler and Towns were good last year (both hit exactly .367 for three), but they don’t have any true threats from downtown, in a league dominated by threes.
Still, there’s time left in the offseason for the Wolves to make moves. And regardless, they’ll be good.
I’m excited to see the Wolves in the playoffs again. They haven’t seen playoff action since 2004.
But the road will not be easy, because unfortunately, Minnesota plays in the stacked Western Conference. The Warriors might be the most talented team ever, the Spurs are always a thing and the Rockets somehow just got Chris Paul.
The NBA: where the offseason is more exciting than the finals.