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Timberwolves Pursue Butler Deal, Dangle Pick

The Timberwolves are willing to move the No. 5 overall pick as the centerpiece of a trade package to acquire Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler, league sources told’s Chad Ford and Marc Stein. The Timberwolves are eager to reunite Chicago’s top scorer with new coach and former Bulls head man Tom Thibodeau and have told the Bulls they’re strongly interested in making such a deal if Butler is available, the story continues.

While Bulls are not believed to be shopping Butler, they are willing to listen to offers, Ford and Stein claim. The Bulls would demand a major package in return, which would likely translate to at least one front-line player in addition to a top lottery pick, sources told the ESPN duo. Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns would seemingly be untouchable but the Timberwolves have some other young talent to dangle, including Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and Gorgui Dieng.

A multi-team trade scenario is also in play, according to the story. Butler has four years remaining on his five-year, $90MM contract.

The Celtics, who have three first-rounders including the No. 3 pick, are also angling to acquire Butler, according to Ford and Stein. The Bulls are high on Providence point guard Kris Dunn, a projected Top 5 selection, the story adds.

The Bulls would save $2.6MM on a trade kicker if they deal Butler this month, according to a tweet from Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus.

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70 thoughts on “Timberwolves Pursue Butler Deal, Dangle Pick

  1. Dionis Beato

    Zach Lavine and the pick is enough for Butler

    • jak9dmb

      if so, he’ll end up on the Celtics. they can offer a better pick (or picks), and can/will offer better players than Laine
      I’d expect it’d take No. 5 and Wiggins

      • Dionis Beato

        Better picks then Lavine? I understand the Boston pick being better then Lavine and that’s possibly but the other picks? I don’t know, Lavine if given a permanent starting role next season will breakout into a flamethrower, might be a mix of Klay/Crawford, if I’m the Bulls I’m jumping on a Lavine and number 5 offer and drafting Jaylen to be the SF with Zach at the 2 and Rose running point.

        • vegandork

          The 3 and Jae Crowder is light years better, especially when you look at what the Bulls value.

          The Wolves getting Butler is probably a pipe dream, but if it’s possible it starts with Wiggins.

          • Dionis Beato

            Wiggins is a hall of fame talent along with Towns, there is no possibly way Minnesota considers dealing Wiggins, let’s just get that out of the way, it’s scary even typing about it, NO WAY.

          • alproof

            Agreed. Minn nuts to trade Wiggins. Chi crazy to take a draft pick straight up for Butler, whether 3 or 5. Chi does need a little shakeup. Butler would make Minn legit; need a big man too there.

          • Wiggins is a HOF talent? Do you just remember the hype and not actually watch bball?

            The way this league is going, he needs to develop a 3 pt shot. He’s also tall and long but doesn’t rebound. One of the worst rebounding forwards in the league – and back to the 3pt thing, shot under 2 p/g at a .310 clip.

            You watching the Finals?

          • Stromalama

            Didn’t Boston say Crowder was untouchable during the trade deadline last year?

          • vegandork

            You guys are missing the point. The Bulls are not selling Butler. He is their franchise player, one of the top ten players in basketball, is young, and is signed long term. There is no scenario where they sell him off for anything less than other generational talent + a top pick.

            If you want to acquire him, it’s at a high cost Wiggins, or Crowder, or whatever other piece you think is untouchable. Because the Bulls are just fine not dealing him and trying other ways to improve.

          • sportingdissent

            And reports are saying just that. Bulls not looking to deal Butler, would require Wiggins to even discuss.

      • Hitman

        Wiggins lol lol lol.. keep dreaming. Wiggins is already twice as good as Butler.

        • vegandork


          Butler probably represents Wiggins ceiling, with no guarantee he gets there.

          • Dionis Beato

            Wiggins will be way better then Butler in the future, Wiggins has Kobe potential

          • sportingdissent



            IF anyone looks like the next Kobe, a true two way player at the guard position, it’s Jimmy Butler. But even that is a ridiculous comparison.

            Wiggins will be LUCKY to be as good as Jimmy Butler is right now.

        • Stromalama

          Not even close.

    • Bbone34

      So Lavine is now close to the value of Jimmy? Teams don’t take chances on value of picks like that. I think it’d take Wiggins and the pick. We can have as much hope for Wiggins in the world but there’s always a chance he doesn’t work and the pick could be a bust. The Wolves would be getting a legitimate max player on a contract that will start looking like a steal as the cap rises. Lavine’s a fine player but the Bulls aren’t giving up their future for him and an unproven rookie

  2. cubsfan2489

    I would trade him in a minute. His head has gotten waaaaaaay to big since he started hanging out with Markie Mark. Send him to the wolves, Thibs will love having Jimmy back and he’ll probably sign Noah. Plus, he’ll give up a crap ton for Jimmy. DO IT!!

    • Dionis Beato

      If the Wolves get Butler they are instantly a top 5 Seed in the West next year, they would have 3 elite defenders in Butler,Wiggins, and Towns who are all 2 way players and that’s a serious big 3 right there coached by one hell of a defensive mastermind. Zach Lavine would destroy in Chicago starting alongside Rose plus they can use that pick on Jaylen Brown and slot him at the 3. Rose-Lavine-Brown-Gasol-Noah(assuming Noah and Gasol come back) that looks phenomenal

      • vegandork

        Except they can’t get Butler and keep both Wiggins and Towns. Butler is young on a long term deal. The Bulls aren’t going to deal him without getting a high pick and a young superstar. They, rightfully so, regard Butler as one of the top ten players in the league.

        • Priggs89

          You have no idea what you’re talking about if you think Wiggins or Towns will go anywhere in a deal for a player not named LeBron.

          That being said, if I’m in the Bulls front office, I’d rather try to make a deal with Boston or Philly.

          • vegandork

            I simply don’t think this deal is getting done. It’s just as ludicrous to assume the rest of the Wolves roster + the fifth pick is enough for one of the best players in basketball. It’s one of those two, or no deal at all.

        • Hitman

          Exactly lol.. dumbasses need to put the pipe down if they think the wolves are trading Wiggins.

          • vegandork

            people need to put the pipe down if they think Jimmy Butler is traded without giving up high end star talent.

      • Stromalama

        Both Gasol and Noah aren’t coming back.

      • Steve in Chicago

        Here is the flaw: “assuming Gasol and Noah come back”. Oh, and Bulls taking Lavine, salaries don’t match.

  3. SilvioDante

    Butler and Gibson for Wiggins, Dieng and #5. Then ship Rose to Philly for Noel and #24.

    • Dream on. Wiggins is not being traded under any circumstances.

    • smittybanton

      LOL. Sixers will take Rose’s $22M and Dunleavy off your hands if you also give us SAC17.

  4. Towns is obviously unavailable, and I think Wiggins might be deemed unavailable to unless the Bulls throw in one of McDermott/Mirotic/Moore. The #5 pick, Dieng, LaVine, and Pekovic (to help match the salaries) for Butler and maybe Dunleavy or another contract to dump sounds like a decent deal to me but I’m probably off on value going to the Bulls. Maybe throw in/swap in Rubio if the Bulls like him a lot, but I don’t imagine they’d want him if Rose is still on the roster.

    • Priggs89

      The Bulls will throw in all 3 of those players for Wiggins.

      • Hitman

        Except Wiggins is not being traded.. especially for Butler..

        • sportingdissent

          You got that backwards. It’s Wiggins PLUS the pick to even sniff Butler’s value.

  5. South_Side757

    If they do not move Butler or Rose, GAR-PAX should be terminated immediately. Wiggins, Dieng

    • Steve in Chicago

      They should just be terminated. And then fired.

  6. Sorry folks, but Andrew Wiggins won’t be part of any trade the Wolves consider or offer. He and Towns are completely untouchable.

    • sportingdissent

      Yep. And the Wolves will carry mostly the same roster to a lottery selection too.

  7. I don’t see Rubio as a talent anymore. Overrated and overpaid and overly injured. The wolves won’t give up enough to get Butler. I think its the Celtics or Sixers that end up with him IF he is traded. Celtics 3rd + a guard. Sixers Okafor or Noel + their 2 firsts. Price is cheaper if Love is a Celtic though imo.

    • How does the #3 plus Smart/Bradley get Butler? A Celtics deal for Butler starts at the #3 pick and Crowder…with other pieces also being involved. I also don’t see how Okafor/Noel plus #24/#26 (presumably the first round picks in question) is enough for Butler. If you meant the #1 pick plus one of #24/#26 and Okafor/Noel, then that could be enough but I don’t see the 76ers trading the #1 pick.

      • sportingdissent

        You’re right on the Celtics. It would have to be Crowder #3. I’m pretty sure he was suggesting #1 overall plus one of Okafor/Noel and one of the later picks for Butler and Chicago’s pick, which seems to make some sense.

  8. This is actually a huge moment for the Wolves and Celtics, both teams have big plans obviously. It’s going to be an interesting offseason. The Celtics can offer better picks but I think the Wolves can offer better players. Only thing is, I’d be hesitant to break up such a young and talented group in Minnesota. I think they should just draft another young player like Murray or Bender or Brown or hope a talented 4 becomes available to them via draft or trade. Oddly enough I think Kevin Love would be a good fit, unlikely though.
    I think Butler ends up in Boston for #3, #23 Bradley, Hunter and a future 1st

  9. Ravens_Last_Place

    3 team trade – Bulls/Wolves/Sixers. Wiggins ends up on the Sixers. They wanted him before the draft and obviously missed out. He will be calling Philly home in the next 12 months. Heard it here first.

    • Heard what here?
      What’s the trade?
      Wiggins goes to philly for free? Picks? Players? A washing machine?

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        Yes, for free. The Wolves will just give him to the Sixers to be nice.

    • What are the Bulls getting? What are the Wolves getting? Who are the Sixers giving up that is even close in value to Wiggins (since Wiggins is more valuable than pretty much every asset on the 76ers, with the #1 pick being of very similar value, and I would argue Wiggins is more valuable than the #1 since he’s a proven player). Making some absurd claim doesn’t mean its going to happen. Although I do love how the reasoning on how Wiggins ends up in Philly is because they wanted him. I’m sure other teams want Noel/Saric/Okafor…maybe they could just pick them off Philly’s roster for free too.

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        The Bulls get to replace Butler with John Paxson moving from the front office back to playing. Also, Jay Williams will make a comeback. Eddie Curry too.

  10. I also think they trade Butler because Noah and Gasol will leave and force their hand a little bit into a rebuild, and I think it’s time anyway. Rose is no longer MVP caliber, probably not even All-Star caliber. When healthy that team can’t compete with the top 4 teams in the west or the Cavs

    • Jeremy

      I think bulls might of jump the gun on firing tibs. Maybe he wasn’t the problem maybe the roster needed a shake up. Like you said rose isn’t the MVP rose anymore because of his health. Maybe he could be close to what he was but who know how his health will hold up

      • Steve in Chicago

        Ya think?

    • Dionis Beato

      Even if Rose may not be MVP caliber you do not trade a player like Rose, he is a Bull for life. I’m still not giving up on him, he is a true leader and knows how to lead a team, trading Rose means automatic rebuild for Chicago, they should not take that route. Rose/Butler alone makes the Bulls a playoff team next season considering both play at least 65 games, all they need to do is sign Dwight Howard and go with Mirotic at the 4. They can draft Denzen Valentine to play the 3 or place Butler there and they’ll be good to go. Rose-Butler-Valentine-Mirotic-Howard, that is a formidable team in the East.

      • sportingdissent

        You are literally the only person thinking this. Rose is statistically the worst starting point in the league for two years running now, if the Bulls can’t trade him they should consider releasing him.

        • Is he really worse than Jose Calderon? Or whoever the Sixers are throwing out there (Ish Smith, McConnell, etc)? I’d rather take an expensive, worn down Rose over those guys at least.

          • sportingdissent

            Technically Calderon wouldn’t qualify statistically because of so many missed games two years ago. But if you add him in, sure. He’s worse. It doesn’t change the fact that Derrick Rose is effectively the 45th or so best PG in basketball depending on what metric you look at, being eclipsed by even half the backups in the league for two years straight.

  11. smittybanton

    Lakers can and should beat both the Wolves and the Celtics. D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. Then Bulls can flip Russell to the Sixers for Okafor and a boatload of draft picks. The Lakers will have Clarkson, Butler and Randle and $50M in cap space.

    • Jeremy

      They would have those 3 and no one to run point unless you think they will move Clarkson back to pg.but there a reason they drafted Russell. Clarkson a better 2 guard

      • lakersfan27

        Clarkson is a better 1 than 2, the stats support that. He should be running the second unit. No way the lakers give up Russell and Ingram.

    • Priggs89

      D’Angelo Russell has no value. Nobody wants him in their locker room. There is no chance in hell the Sixers would trade Okafor and a “boatload of draft picks” for him. If they would, I’d happily make those trades as a Bulls fan.

    • Dangelo is gonna break out next year in a free flowing fast paced offense even more so with Ingram in the wing. The young lakers are going to be a problem.

      • Maybe in a few years, but not next year. Even with Ingram, they still don’t have enough consistent shooters outside of Lou Williams. They also don’t have a interior post presence on the defensive end. Hibbert is not as scary defensively as he was in Indy and Randle barely knows what defense is. Assuming they get Ingram, keep Clarkson and Russell, they still need a big who can score a bit (not saying he needs to average 20 or even 15, but enough to be a threat) while also being a rim presence (again not saying he needs to average 2-4 blocks a game, but someone who teams look out for when driving to the rim).

  12. Bob Dabalina

    Wiggins and Towns are untouchable. Anyone saying otherwise is an idiot. Lavine and a five is probably what they would offer, but not sure that is enough for Chicago. Maybe Shabazz to a third team in need of a salary dump who can then send something to the Bulls. Don’t see this happening unless the Bulls get desperate

  13. Mike N

    Rubio, #5 overall and DIeng should be enough for Butler.

    • Stromalama

      Rubio has zero value and even less to a team that already has a starting PG.

      • lakersfan27

        Rubio is a better PG than Rose.

    • sportingdissent

      I don’t understand why people seem to think that you can get one of the best players in the NBA for a draft pick 3 picks too late and garbage role players.

      The Wolves probably don’t have enough to make this deal short of dealing Towns. Maybe with Wiggins. That’s a big maybe, because a lot of his luster has faded.

  14. Sixers aren’t going after butler. If they trade Okafor, it will be to the Lakers for #2. If I’m the sixers, I also call the suns and offer Noel and one of their other 1st for #4 and grab dunn. Wishful thinking but who the heck knows in today’s NBA

    • lakersfan27

      Okafor isn’t worth the second pick.

  15. Bernaldo

    This is why I didn’t want the Wolves to hire Tom Thibodeau. They needed a coach to work with the young guns they have accumulated and the one the get with the #5 and build a championship contender using the talent he has plus any free agents. Butler doesn’t help Towns, Wiggins, LaVine, Dieng get better. The Wolves will win a few more games next year with Butler to be sure but LaVIne will be the better player. Glen Taylor (Wolves owner) needs to kill this talk and tell Thibodeau the young guns are not available!

  16. John Kaputz

    I’m laughing everytime I see teams throwing useless players like Lavine for Butler (Butler is top3 SG – Klay, Harden, Butler) if you think deRozan is better go check the bulls 4-0 raptors Butler exposing him on def/off
    yes wiggins is a youngstar but Jimmy Butler is a two way star on his prime with good ass contract !
    If you want to wait 3 or more years to see wolves on playoffs feel free to keep wiggins
    If you want to be a contender you need a player like Butler who can defende guys like Lebron etc.

    • sportingdissent

      You’re the only person making sense.

  17. ReggieCentriq

    Butler and Crowder played together college so Crowder won’t be included in the deal. Celtics should trade the 16 and 23rd pick, with Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk for Butler. Keep the 3 and use that to bait OkC for a sign and trade, Durant gets his money and can play in the east to avoid SA and GS until the finals. Sign All horford and maybe joakim Noah to a 1 year deal he can’t refuse. Horford and Noah won a championship together in Florida. Won’t be able to resign Evan Turner or Jared Sullinger. I do like the IT4, Butler, Durant, Crowder, and Horford lineup. Rozier, Smart , Hunter, Mickey and Noah on the bench. Let’s go C’s! Banner #18!!

    • I’ll make this nice and short since this is too easy to bash:
      1) Not enough for Butler and simply citing that they played together in college isn’t going to make the Bulls front office just give up their best player.
      2) Not enough for Durant, even with the sign and trade. If Durant is set on leaving, I don’t imagine OKC giving him the money he may want to play elsewhere.
      3) Again, just because two players played together in college doesn’t mean they necessarily want to play together in the NBA. Also, at that point, the Celtics would not have enough space to sign all/absorb the contracts of all those guys.

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