Bulls-Jimmy Butler trade listed among biggest draft surprises of last decade

The Chicago Bulls haven’t made many trades recently. In fact, since their big-swing moves in 2021, they’ve been almost completely inactive on the trade market. But at one point, they decided to make a mega deal. At the 2017 NBA Draft, they traded Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. David Kenyon of Bleacher Report listed the trade among the six biggest surprise deals of the last decade.

“Ordinarily, draft-day trades are basically just swapping rights to a prospect with future picks involved,” Kenyon wrote. “But in 2017, the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves broke the mold in an eye-popping deal. Chicago sent Jimmy Butler and 16th pick (which became Justin Patton) to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 selection (Lauri Markkanen).

“The original outlook was very unkind. Moving on from Butler signaled the formal beginning of a rebuild, yet Chicago still parted with him and a valuable first-round selection for a player recovering from an ACL injury (LaVine), a guard who struggled in his first season (Dunn) and a rookie (Markkanen). The bright side for the Bulls is hindsight does not paint such an ugly picture, largely because Butler requested a trade from the Wolves just one year later.”

Trading Butler is still looked at as a rough move by some Bulls fans, but he ended up leaving Minnesota, anyway.

Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire