Butler to join Thibodeau with Timberwolves
New York (AFP) – The Minnesota Timberwolves swung a deal with the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler on Thursday, reuniting the former first round NBA draft pick with his former coach Tom Thibodeau.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed the trade during the 2017 entry draft later in the evening.
Butler was dealt for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Finland’s Lauri Markkanen. Also going to Minnesota are the rights to Justin Patton, who was picked at No. 16 by the Bulls.
In 2011, Butler was the 30th overall pick by the Bulls. He averaged a career-high 23.9 points last season as the Bulls were 41-41 and qualified for the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Thibodeau coached Butler from 2011 to 2015. He joined the Timberwolves last season with the titles of coach and head of basketball operations.
By obtaining Butler, the Timberwolves are taking on the final three seasons of the $95 million deal he signed after the 2014-15 season.
LaVine is coming off a torn ACL. Before getting hurt, LaVine shot 46 percent and averaged a career-high 18.9 points per game.
Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in his only season of US college basketball at Arizona.