Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves? Thank You, but No Thank You.

The rumors of Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves are intensifying, but would it be a bad idea by the Wolves to explore these rumors further?

Source: www.sportingsota.com


As we approach the finale of the NBA season with the Eastern and Western Conference Finals playing out, the teams that are out of the equation have already begun setting up their strategy for the 2016 offseason. The Minnesota Timberwolves are no exception to this yearly phenomenon, in fact, they have been rumored to be interested in the Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler—Tom Thibodeau's former success story.


The lead up to the NBA Draft and free-agency is always an exciting time for teams, fans, and the media alike. The rumor mill this time of the year churns out constant chatter around the league about the draft, free-agency, and plenty of trade rumors that range from almost believable to absurdly bizarre.


After the hiring of Thibodeau, rumors instantly began to form that the Timberwolves franchise would likely target former Bulls players in free-agency (think Pau Gasol/ Luol Deng) to help round out the team. Also that he is rumored to covet the services of Butler from them as well.


So, what would it take to pry Butler from the Bulls? From what it sounds like online, it would take the #5 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins or Zach LaVine, and a future first round draft pick to obtain Butler. While I believe Butler is a great player and would help improve the Wolves' playoff chances significantly, I think overall in the long run it just doesn't make sense to do.


Butler just signed a contract extension last year for five years and $95 million with a player option on the fifth year. Andrew Wiggins is currently on his rookie contract worth just over $17 million on three years that goes through the 2017-2018 season. If Wiggins is traded, Butler's contract would hurt the cap space more than Wiggins' contract currently does, possibly affecting free-agent acquisitions that could help round out the team better with their current core of Wiggins, LaVine, and Karl-Anthony Towns.


Butler is also five years older than Wiggins at 26-years-old, and although he is currently a better player and an All-Star—Wiggins has the potential to be a better version of Butleralso obtaining elite level defensive skills and a much higher upside on the offensive side of the ball.


There is also the chemistry issue here. Why break up an already good thing between Wiggins, Towns, and LaVine? Just watching the games you can see the chemistry these three hold with one another, watch any of the post game interviews or any of the celebratory game winning shots—these guys and the team as whole really show cohesiveness through the good and the bad.



You can also checkout their social media activity as they are usually “shouting out” to one another or just hanging out together playing video games. Breaking up the core of these three young potential All-Stars and Hall of Famers would be a monumental mistake. Wolves fans everywhere can wait another year or two before making some noise in the playoffs, they've been doing it for years already. Even with instant success upon the arrival of Butler, the Wolves would be wise to consider growing within with their current core.


Finally, why would the Chicago Bulls front office want to work with their former coach, Thibodeau? There were stories of them constantly clashing and butting heads about personnel decisions and how the starters were being overplayed which led to various long-term injuries throughout Thibodeau's five seasons as Head Coach. The breakup between the front office and Thibodeau wasn't pretty and many around the league believe both parties left with a sour taste in their mouths.


It's hard to imagine these two working out any type of deal/trade because of the bad blood and past histories they share. Also, with the Boston Celtics rumored to have made an offer before the 2015-2016 season trade deadline, you can expect them to be in on the fray to potentially offer more picks and players than the Wolves can this summer.


With the reasons stated above, I struggle to see a trade happening between the Wolves and the Bulls. The Wolves are primed to be very good for a long time, they should not look for the shortcut in Butler. However, if the Wolves were able to obtain Butler using the 5th and Shabazz Muhammad or Gorgui Dieng, I would not hesitate to pull the trigger on such a deal/trade.


Of course, the Bulls are in the Driver's seat with Butler locked up for the next four years, and the longer they wait getting closer to the NBA Draft, the more glamorous of trade packages there will be. Look for the Wolves to make a call, but when it's all said-and-done, I would expect the core will remain intact and the bench unit will be fortified.



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