Wolves Make Big News at Draft With Trade for Butler
CHICAGO (AP) — The Timberwolves drafted Arizona's Lauri Markkanen with the No. 7 overall pick for the Chicago Bulls after the two teams agreed to a blockbuster deal that sends three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler to Minnesota.
The Bulls are sending Butler and the No. 16 pick for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the seventh pick.
The trade means a reunion for Butler and Tom Thibodeau, who coached the Bulls for five seasons before being fired in 2015. Butler gives Thibodeau the tough-minded scorer and hard-nosed defender that he has been searching for to complement a promising young core.
The Wolves paid a big price to land Butler. They gave up a rising star in LaVine, who is coming off of a torn ACL and Dunn, last year's No. 5 overall pick in addition to the lottery pick this year.
Butler played for Thibodeau for four seasons in Chicago, developing from an unheralded, late-first round draft pick into a perennial All-Star. The two strong-willed workaholics clashed on occasion during their time together and Butler said during the Olympics in Rio last summer that it was "love-hate" relationship.
The Bulls took Creighton forward Justin Patton at No. 16 for the Wolves. Patton is a 6-foot-11 forward who was the Big East freshman of the year after averaging 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds last season.