Why the Minnesota Timberwolves Should Trade for Jimmy Butler
This NBA Free Agency has been filled with rumors and we haven’t even reached the NBA Draft! Many have said this Free Agency was better than the NBA Playoffs, and I agree. One big player that has been rumored in many trade talks include the Bulls 27 year old star, Jimmy Butler. As of Wednesday June 21st, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers are not in trade talks for Jimmy Butler. Many Cavs players have reportedly been telling Jimmy Butler not to join the Cavaliers and that they are in a bad state. Check out my David Griffin article to see more about the Cavaliers. As for the Boston Celtics, they reportedly declined a deal that would send Chicago the 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and the 27 shooting guard. Now the Bulls are reportedly very interested in moving up into the top 4 to draft the Kansas wingman and newly signed Under Armour athlete, Josh Jackson so talks between Chicago and Boston could start up again.
An interesting team that could still be interested in Butler is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves finished with a record of 31–51 and 5th in the Northwest Division. They currently hold the 7th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Timberwolves have two of the last three number one picks in Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Towns is entering his third season and averaged 25.1 points per game, 12.3 rebounds a game, and 2.7 assists per game. For a guy who is entering his 3rd year in the League, those are very impressive numbers. Towns won 2016 Rookie of the Year averaging 18.3 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game, and 2 assists per game. Towns has potential to be a superstar in the league and one of the best centers in the game as he has averaged a double-double in his first two years in the league. As for Wiggins, he is also a Rookie of the Year as he won it in 2015. Wiggins is coming off his 3rd season in which he averaged 23.6 points per game, 4 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game. The Wolves already have two young stars with crazy potential that have developed to be 20 point scorers in this league. The Wolves could definitely use a star and veteran in Jimmy Butler. Let’s get into what a trade would look like:
Kris Dunn (6’4 210pls, 23 year old point guard. Dunn is going into his 2nd season and had a subpar rookie season as he was expected to take the starting point guard role from Ricky Rubio, but failed. Dunn averaged 3.8 points per game, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game)
Zach LaVine (6’5 189lbs 22 year old Shooting Guard. 2-Time Dunk Contest Champion. Going into 4th season. Averaged 18.9 points per game, 3.4 rebounds, and 3 assists in the 2016–17 season. Is coming off a torn ACL)
2019 First Round pick (unprotected)
2020 First Round pick (unprotected)
Now many people would say that the trade would include the Timberwolves 7th overall pick, but I disagree. The Timberwolves are reportedly in love with Florida State Small Forward/Power Forward Jonathan Isaac. Isaac is very raw as he averaged 12 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game in his freshman campaign for the Seminoles. Isaac is listed at 6’10 210lbs so he can very well start over Gorgui Dieng. Isaac is a very good defensive player which fits Tom Thibodeau’s system. Isaac could very well be a good player in Minnesota, which is why I doubt the Timberwolves are willing to trade their chance at getting him. The thing is the Orlando Magic are highly considering taking him at 6. If that happens, I say the Wolves take a chance on Dennis Smith Jr. to replace Ricky Rubio since Dunn has been traded. There are also many rumors that the Wolves are trying to deal Rubio so it would make sense. Also they could deal Dieng if Isaac falls to the Wolves at 7.
We have talked about the potential deal, so let’s get into how the salaries would work out.
This is the Minnesota Timberwolves expected team payroll for the 2017–2018 season: (Not Including Kris Dunn or Zach LaVine)
Ricky Rubio: $14,250,000
Cole Aldrich: $7,300,000
Andrew Wiggins: $7,574,322
Karl-Anthony Towns: $6,216,840
Jordan Hill: $4,088,020
Nemanja Bjelica: $3,949,999
Gorgui Dieng: $14,112,360
Tyus Jones: $$1,397,400
That is a total of $58,888,941. They recently cut Nikola Pekovic ($12,100,000) and in this article they traded Kris Dunn ($3,872,520) and Zach LaVine ($2,240,880). Their 2017 free agents include Brandon Rush ($3,500,000), Shabazz Muhammad ($3,046,299), Adreian Payne ($2,022,240), and Omri Casspi ($138,414).
Jimmy Butler would add $18,696,918 to the Timberwolves pay roll which would put their team payroll at $77,585,859 with plenty of money to sign free agents. The Bulls would be looking at $68,794,318 with also plenty of money to spend in the 2017 Free Agency period.
The Bulls would be looking at a starting lineup of:
PG: Kris Dunn/Rajon Rondo
SG: Zach LaVine/Dwyane Wade
SF: Paul Zipser
PF: Bobby Portis
C: Robin Lopez
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: Jimmy Butler
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Jonathan Isaac
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
In conclusion, both the Timberwolves and the Bulls should do this trade. It allows the Timberwolves to get better and potentially be a top 6 team in West and it allows the Bulls to tank and by younger and get two young guards. It also allows the Bulls to explore trade options for Rajon Rondo and to not overpay for a free agent in Nikola Mirotic. What wouldn’t work out is Zach LaVine because Dwyane Wade recently accepted his player option to play for the Bulls again. Also the cap situation works out for both teams. Thanks for reading my article and check out my other ones!