Last night during the NBA draft we got a blockbuster deal we were expecting given the temperature of the NBA offseason in the last week.
The Chicago Bulls sent their All-Star guard Jimmy Butler, who's been mired in trade rumors for a better part of the last calendar year to the Minnesota Timberwolves alongside their 16th pick Justin Patton. The Wolves in return ships Chicago the following: Zack Levine, Kris Dunn, who was Minnesota's first round pick in last year's draft, and 7th pick Lauri Markkanen.
On the surface it seems like this was a relatively even swap especially if you really believe every word that came out of ESPN Michael Wilbon's mouth last night during the Draft telecast. Wilbon happens to be a card carrying Chicago Bulls die hard for those of you scoring at home.
It was not.
The Bulls now lose arguably a top 10-12 player in Butler and a 1st round draft pick to boot. Nothing in this transaction screams fair. Understandably Chicago has now opted to push the rebuild button (which they really should've done last summer) which now raises serious questions about the futures of both Dwyane Wade, who is expected to still opt into his $23.5 million deal and Rajon Rondo who is owed $10 million next season. Both guys are viable buyout candidates for 2018.
With all of this, many including myself feels like the Bulls still could have gotten even more out of this deal.
Zach LaVine is the only player worth of value on the opposite end of this transaction and if/when he enters training camp in September will be coming off a ACL injury he suffered in February.
Kris Dunn was viewed by many disappointment in his rookie season. Then again he did not get the playing time needed to truly develop according to many who cover the team.
Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached the Bulls from 2010-2015 was unceremoniously fired by the team due to infighting with the Bulls front office. He is now reunited with Butler who alongside budding stars Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins form their own "Big Three".
The entire Western Conference outside of the Golden State Warriors might be complete transition in the coming weeks as free agency approaches. If all the cards fall in place, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be the next team step into in the playoff conversation.
Meanwhile it is quite possible that the Bulls could be the worst team in all of basketball in 2017-18.
Love it or hate it, last night Thibs somehow got his revenge on his old team.
And it was dandy.