The Chicago Bulls Sold Jimmy Butler Short

The fallout from the unprecedented, crazy, fast-paced maneuvering leading up to and during the NBA Draft had huge ramifications for Bulls three-time All-Star guard Jimmy Butler. On Thursday, the Minnesota Timberwolves made a blockbuster trade of sorts, acquiring Butler from the Chicago Bulls in a draft-night deal that reunites him with former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

The Wolves received the No. 16 overall pick in Thursday night’s draft, which was used to select Justin Patton, the freshman center from Creighton. The Bulls, meanwhile, acquired guards Kris Dunn ( a guy they coveted for a while), Zach LaVine and the No. 7 overall pick, which was used to select 7-footer Lauri Markkanen from Arizona.

“What we’ve done tonight is set a direction,” said John Paxson, the Bulls’ vice president of basketball operations. “We’re going to do it with young players. We’re going to be disciplined and patient.”

Butlers not exactly old. Hes 27 and just entering his prime as a Top 10-12 player in the game. With two years left on his deal, its odd that the Bulls would pick now to sell off their best player, rather than build around him. 

Jimmy Butler’s Best of the 2016-2017 Regular Season

Jimmy Butler was a starter in the All-Star Game for the first time this year, and he finished the season with career highs in points (23.9 per game), rebounds (6.2) and assists (5.5). Watch his best work here.

Bulls fans werent feeling the trade and publications such as ripped into the Bulls front office with an outline of their recent ineptitude. 

This team is a trainwreck from top to bottom. Its apparent that management couldnt care less about this team or its fans. Why would they?  It doesnt matter how pathetic the Bulls are, fans still sell out the arena and they make bank.  In the last 15 seasons, the Bulls have ranked 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, and now 1st for the past 8 years in attendance.  They infamously had never gone into the luxury tax until a few years ago and worry more about how much they rake in rather than winning.  They fired a well-respected assistant coach in Ron Adams because he criticized and questioned certain personnel moves which began the process of alienating and souring the relationship with the highly regarded despite his flaws Tom Thibodeau.  They insisted on hiring Fred Hoiberg, a role player that didnt play for a winner in his NBA days and a college coach with limited success, as their head coach for a veteran team that was ready to win now and didnt fit his desired style. This may be hard to believe, but he immediately alienated the heart and soul of the Chicago Bulls, Joakim Noah, and their best player, Jimmy Butler.  ESPN ranked him as the worst coach in the NBA and hes frequently shown an inability to earn the respect of his players.  Coaches matter and their reputations matter.

First Take Analyzes Jimmy Butler Trade Between Bulls And Timberwolves | First Take | June 23, 2017

First Take’s Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman take a deep dive on the specifics of the Jimmy Butler trade between the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Basketball analyst Tim Legler tried to come to the Bulls rescue and said that Butlers market value is not as high as one would think and the Bulls willingness to trade him tells you that they dont think hes as good as he seems. 

I dont know about that. 

Double-trouble, 6-foot-7 stretch forward/two guards are commodities in the NBA and Butler was on the ascent, not the decline like his backcourt mate Dwyane Wade. Minnesota hasnt been relevant since Kevin Garnett bounced over a decade ago. The Butler trade was the power move of the evening. 

The Timberwolves lost more games after leading in the second half than any team in the NBA and they ranked bottom five in the league in defensive efficiency, so Butlers value as a legit two-way beast, teaming up with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, definitely upgrades the Wolves and makes them playoff contenders. 

Jimmy Butler Mix HD – R.I.C.O.

This is a mix of Chicago Bulls All Star Jimmy Butler. Enjoy!! Song – R.I.C.O. by Meek Mill Ft. Drake Please leave a like and subscribe for more! Thanks! No copyright intended, I don’t own the song nor do i own the clips in the video. This is for entertainment purposes only.

The Bulls, who are obviously entering another serious rebuild, let a guy go who averaged 20 points per game or more the last three seasons and a career-high 23.9 points and 5.5 assists, 6.2 rebounds and almost 2 steals per game in 2017.  All of a sudden Chicago goes from average contender to a franchise of irrelevance as they now dedicate their energies to moving Wade and his bloated opt-in while fostering a youth movement that will return them to their glory days. 

“These are hard things to do,” Paxon reasoned. “We traded a guy we really like. Tonight, we made a decision to change direction and define our path.”

Butler was in Paris when he learned of the trade. According to ESPN, he found out from his agent, Bernie Lee, about 2 a.m. Paris time and refused to comment on the deal, which probably came as somewhat of a shock. Most agree, however, that this is a great move for Butler as he leaves a flailing franchise to join a young team on the rise where he can assert his veteran leadership without interference. 

He kind of got traded for a bag of beans. Well maybe not a bag of beans, but none of the players are close to his caliber. 

Dunn was last year’s No. 5 overall pick, and LaVine the leaper, averaged 18.9 points last season before suffering a torn ACL. Lauri Markkanen is the first Finnish-born player drafted in the lottery. His 69 3-pointers last season were the most by a 7-footer in college basketball in the past 20 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Minnesota couldnt be happier. 


I do not own any of these clips. This is not my song. I do this for entertainment purposes. I am not the owner of any of these. Enjoy the mixtape!!!!

“We felt that if we had the opportunity to get a player of Jimmy’s caliber, we would do it,” said T-Wolves GM Scott Layden.”To get a player like Jimmy you have to give good players up and we did. We felt its something our team needed. Jimmy is just going into the prime of his career so we are excited about that

Following the Butler deal, Minnesota’s odds to win the 2017-18 NBA title improved from 100-1 to 60-1 at Westgate Las Vegas. The Bulls went from 100-1 to 200-1.

The numbers say lopsided deal, but the Bulls say necessary change. I say Butler got shortchanged, but in the end it might be best for him to shake his ego off and embrace a promising future in Minnesota. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.