This year’s NBA draft was stock full of surprises and major moves being made around the league.


Besides the obvious headlines that were the top picks Markell’s Fultz and Lonzo Ball, probably the biggest headline that was made was Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler being traded to the Timberwolves.



In exchange for the services of Butler, the Timberwolves gave up their top 10 pick Lauri Markkanen, as well as top young talents Zach Lavine and Kris Dunn.


The Bulls are in a rebuilding mode and this was its clearest of signs. Butler had two years left on a deal that had been extended a couple of seasons ago, but with the struggles that occurred this season with the team and the relationship between Butler and coach Fred Hoiberg, many had suspected that a trade would happen soon.


So what does this mean for both teams?


Well for the Wolves, this is a clear win.


The Timberwolves possessed one of the most talented young rosters in the NBA led Karl Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio. With the addition of Butler, a proven two way star in this league, they not only gain experience but also a legit three headed monster with him, Towns and Wiggins.


With Towns already establishing himself as one of the premier big men in the NBA and heading into his third year, he has franchise player written all over him. With Wiggins making a big jump last season in his game with added scoring, solid defense and overall better player efficiency, you can expect him to continue to improve especially as the third option on a team. Mix in Butler, who had proven that he can give you 25-30 points on any given night while also locking down the opposing team’s best perimeter player, the Wolves look like a team that can finally break through and make a playoff run this upcoming season.


On the other side of the coin, you have the Bulls who are a team in transition. However, this transition may not be turbulent in the least bit because even though they traded away their star player, they picked up three players who have the potential to turn any franchise around in the future.


(Windy City Hoops)

Starting with Lavine, yes he is one of the league’s most explosive players, but this past season, pre-injury, he proved that he is a pure scorer and someone who can be a go-to option in the future. He possesses the ability to create his own shot, slash to the rim and hit the deep ball which makes him a triple threat. With Rondo manning the point guard Lavine will likely be moved to the 3, because of Dwyane Wade’s return, but probably his more natural position, and a position where he can just focus on scoring and not having to run an offense. That duty will be in the hands of Kris Dunn in the future.


Although his rookie season wasn’t one to remember, Dunn showed glimpses of light last season that clearly had the Bulls intrigued. Dunn is pure point guard who can also create scoring opportunities for himself at an effective rate. He can get to the rim and finish strong and kick out to open shooters when he needs to. His shooting was a struggle spot last season but if he is able to knock down the open three as well as the mid range shot at a good rate, he will prove to be amongst the top point guards in this game. With Rondo as the starter and Michael Carter- Williams as the probable backup, Dunn will have to fight to get some minutes barring another trade or moves the Bulls might make which I think will be very likely being that they are very guard heavy right now with Dwyane Wade picking up his option to return to the team this year. If any move were to be made, it would likely involve Carter-Williams who is a piece that most teams would seriously consider.


For incoming rookie Markkanen, he will look to be in the rotation right away for a team that is lacking at the big man position. Markkanen is very skilled offensively and can work inside and outside depending on how defenses decide to play him. He has great touch for a big and his footwork is at a high level already that will only improve under NBA player development. Maybe the most underrated part of his game is his ability pass and find open shooters from the post and top of the key.


At Arizona, he was used in many creative ways in order for the ball to be in his hands on many possessions in many different areas on the floor. He displayed the ability to feel the double team and identify the open shooter quickly and efficiently. With his underestimated quickness at nearly 7 feet tall, he will be able to get around most big men when he gets the ball near the perimeter and open up scoring lanes for his teammates. Markkanen, out of both Lavine and Dunn, has the highest ceiling and the Bulls gained a gem while losing one at the same time.


Do you think this trade will work out better for the Bulls or Timberwolves? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.