Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves tonight acquired forward Jimmy Butler and the draft rights to center Justin Patton, the No. 16 selection in this year’s draft from the Chicago Bulls, in exchange for guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn and the draft rights to forward Lauri Markkanen, the No. 7 selection in this year’s draft.

Butler, a 6-7 forward, has played six seasons in the NBA, all with the Bulls. The three-time NBA All-Star (2015, 2016 and 2017) averaged career highs with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game this past season en route to earning 2016-17 All-NBA Third Team honors. Butler scored 30+ points 14 times in 2016-17, including a season-high 52 points vs. Charlotte on Jan. 2.

Butler, 27, owns career averages of 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 399 games. The Houston, Texas, native has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times (2014–2016) and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player after the 2014-15 season after increasing his scoring average from 13.1 ppg to 20.0 ppg and his rebounds from 4.9 rpg to 5.8 rpg while averaging the same minutes in each season. Chicago originally drafted Butler with the 30th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Marquette University.

Patton, 6-11, played in 35 contests over one season at Creighton, averaging 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals per game en route to earning Big East Freshman of the Year honors. Patton, 20, led the Big East and ranked second nationally with a field goal percentage of 67.6%, which stands as the highest field goal percentage of any freshman from a major conference in NCAA history. The Riverdale, Georgia, native also shot 53.3% from the three-point during his line season as a Bluejay. Patton sat out the 2015-16 season as a redshirt.

Dunn (6-4, 205), selected fifth overall by the Timberwolves in the 2016 NBA Draft, appeared in 78 games and averaged 3.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 17.1 minutes per game last season. Dunn won back-to-back Big East Player of the Year awards while at Providence (2014-15 and 2015-16). He averaged 15.6 points and 7.5 assists in his junior season, and finished with 16.4 points and 6.2 assists in his senior season.

Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Timberwolves

LaVine (6-5, 185), picked 13th overall by Minnesota in the 2014 NBA Draft, averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 47 games last season. LaVine shot .459 from the field, .387 from long range and .836 from the foul line. For his career, LaVine is averaging 13.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 206 games and shooting .445 overall, .378 from 3-point range and .821 from the stripe. After his first year in the league, LaVine was named to the 2014-15 All-Rookie Second Team.

Markkanen (7-0, 230), the seventh overall selection in this year’s Draft, averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in his one season at Arizona. Markkanen posted shooting marks of .492 from the field, .423 from distance and .835 from the foul line. The Finland native was named Third-Team All-American by the Associated Press, Sporting News and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and First-Team All-Pac-12 last season. Over the last 25 years, Markkanen and Kevin Durant are the players to record at least 69 3-pointers and 266 rebounds in their freshman year.