“ But what if we call it #5 last year, Lavine and another top 10 lottery pick for Butler? It at least starts to SOUND better.”
It sounds better only if you don’t understand conditional probability. When you trade for the #5 pick, you are getting the probability distribution of how good a player it turns out to be based only upon what he did in seasons prior to the draft. That does not describe Kris Dunn as he is now; you are getting the probability distribution of how good he might be based not only upon the seasons prior to the draft, because we have more information now than we did then, namely that he had a horrifically bad rookie season. It’s not like trading for the 5th pick in the draft, because no one in their right mind would take Dunn at #5 given the information we now have.
Other parts of your analysis have similar flaws. You sound very much like someone trying to convince himself that something he knows was a bad trade might not be that bad, if only he can look at it from just the right angle and discarding the rest.