jimmy butler by Matthew McKibben June 23, 2017
Man, who else was ready for some more Woj bombs?
Entering the night, rumors were swirling that Pacers forward Paul George and Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis would be on the move.
That didn’t happen but it became clear to NBA fans that John Paxson and Gar Forman are determined to run the Chicago Bulls into the ground. Does anyone have any clue what the Bulls are doing? Peep this tweet from Butler’s trainer after the trade:
The Bulls traded a top-10 player in the league for a guy coming off an ACL tear, a point guard who struggled mightily as a rookie, and an overrated 7-footer.
We know the Bulls fucked up but who are the three biggest winners and losers from Tuesday night?
Not only did Thibs reunite with one of his favorite players but he also fleeced the team that screwed him over in 2015.
It’s no secret that Tom Thibedeau and the Chicago Bulls front office had a messy breakup, much of which should be attributed to Paxson and Forman. But he got his revenge by trading for Butler and giving up very little.
Now the Wolves have a legitimate Big 3 in Karl- Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Butler. They may not have enough shooting to compete for a conference finals appearance but they will be menacing on defense and should win 50 games in the 2017-2018 season.
In the trade, the Wolves also received Creighton Center Justin Patton, a 7-footer who can shoot, rim-run and defend the rim.
The Kings have been the joke of the NBA for the last few seasons. After trading franchise cornerstone DeMarcus Cousins, GM Vlade Divac told reporters that he had a better deal on the table two days before the move.
But Divac restored some respect to the Kings organization by drafting dynamic Kentucky Point Guard De’Aaron Fox and then trading down to scoop up two extra picks.
They used those picks on North Carolina swingman Justin Jackson and athletic Duke Forward Harry Giles. Jackson should be ready to play ready while Giles might be a project.
Giles has a long injury history but he has immense raw talent and a decent motor. Don’t expect the Kings to compete next year but I think they are on their way.
With a young nucleus of Buddy Hield, Fox, and Skal Labissiere, the Kings are building something.
The Sixers made their move last week, moving up and drafting Washington point guard Markelle Fultz. Sixers fans have weathered “The Process” for too long and now it seems like they are finally ready to compete.
If Center Joel Embiid and Forward Ben Simmons can stay healthy, this Sixers team should challenge for a playoff spot in the East.
Fultz – a point guard with size who can shoot, dribble and defend – will make an immediate impact. The Maryland native is the real deal and should be the perfect compliment to Simmons.
PS: I really like what the Lakers did in this draft. They got their guy (Lonzo Ball) and then took Villanova guard Josh Hart with the last pick in the first round.
Both players can handle the ball, shoot, and guard multiple positions. Magic Johnson nailed his first draft as general manager.
What are the Celtics doing? They traded out of the number one pick and passed on a sure thing in Fultz to draft Duke Forward Jayson Tatum.
Also, why weren’t the Celtics in on the Butler trade? They have much better assets than the Wolves and it seems strange they couldn’t top that offer. Tatum should be a solid NBA player but doesn’t have the upside or star potential of Fultz.
To me, Tatum looks like a replica of Danny Granger. Eh.
We are all supposed to have the utmost faith in Danny Ainge but I have a feeling this move might come back to haunt them. Fultz will be a multi-time All-Star who could win an MVP some day. You don’t pass that up.
Ainge better have something up his sleeve or have assurance from Gordon Hayward that he’s shipping up to Boston.
How many forwards/centers does this team need?
The Magic, a team in desperate need of a guard who can shoot, owned the sixth pick, and had the opportunity to select Malik Monk or Dennis Smith, both of whom would have been perfect fits.
Instead, they added to their front court depth and drafted Florida State Small Forward Jonathan Isaac. I like Isaac but I don’t think this a good fit for him.
With Nikola Vucevic, Bismack Biyombo, Aaron Gordon, and Jeff Green clogging the front court it may be hard for Isaac to find minutes.
It’s hard to understand why the Magic didn’t select Monk, an athletic shooting guard with unlimited range who has shown the ability to handle the ball and create for others.
Come on Portland. I liked the decision to move up and draft Gonzaga center Zach Collins and I’m a huge fan of Caleb Swanigan as a college player but the Blazers need to unload some of those enormous contracts on their cap.
As of today, Portland has $138 million in salary on the books for the 2017-2018 season, the most in the NBA.
Portland signed Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Mo Harkless thinking they would be able to package a couple of those players in a deal for a star. Looking around the NBA that seems a little far-fetched.
Portland, a decent team that is still several pieces away from competing for a championship, needs to make a deal and move some of those contracts.