If the Bulls kept Jimmy it would have been the exact same Bulls team as last year: either barely making or missing the playoffs. I know Jimmy said he wanted to stay on the Bulls but you think after this season, with one year left before an opt out, if they missed the playoffs and Dwade is gone, that he still wants to stay? doubt it. Jimmy is 27 years old, and the Bulls have no shot at beating CLE, let alone GS, before his contract expires..
So the Bulls get 3 young guys with star potential, and trade Butler before they lose all of their leverage. Also, Jimmy is too good for them to completely suck so the 2018 pick just got way better. Wade ($24mil) Butler ($18mil) and Rondo ($12mil) off the books by next summer will be a good $55 million in cap room.
Last summer the Bulls wanted Lavine and Dunn for Butler, and MN said no, countering with Lavine and Rubio. since then Rubio has played very well, and Dunn has disappointed, but we know Thibs doesn’t play rookies; Butler only averaged 3ppg his rookie year. So the Bulls essentially got what they wanted last summer plus Markkanen. This entire trade will depend on Markkanen. If he is the next Porzingis, the Bulls won this trade. If he’s the next Bargnani, the Bulls lost. Only time will tell.