June 22, 2017

The Chicago Bulls trade G Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick (Justin Patton) to the Minnesota Timberwolves for G Zach LaVine, G Kris Dunn and the 7th overall pick (Lauri Markkanen). 

I can’t even begin to tell you how upset I was at this trade. I couldn’t believe it. We just traded a top 15 (arguably top 10) player for Dunn (who was just coming off an underwhelming rookie season), LaVine (suffered a torn ACL in February and was in rehab), and Markkanen (who had upside, we just weren’t sure if the game would translate). It just seemed like we didn’t get enough back for a franchise player. I sat there and started filling out applications to become a fan of other NBA teams.

Well then…Times have changed, huh?

Bulls G Zach LaVine is set to make his season debut Saturday night at the United Center versus the Detroit Pistons. The last time we saw LaVine on the court, he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. That night he was up against the Detroit Pistons. 344 days later, LaVine returns to the court against those same Pistons, this time as a member of the Bulls. (On his bobblehead night too!)

LaVine was a key component in the Bulls trading away Jimmy Butler, as the 22-year-old guard out of UCLA was averaging 18.9 points per game last year before going down with a torn right ACL. The Bulls plan on managing Zach’s playing time to start, hoping to limit his minutes to about 20 a game.

“I was trying to push to play two months ago”, LaVine said Tuesday afternoon to reporters. The Bulls also plan on not playing LaVine on the second night of back-to-backs before the All-Star Break.

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t very high on this trade when it first came out. But after seeing how much Dunn has improved, and how promising Markkanen has been, I’m excited to see what Zach LaVine can do. He will bring some energy, and we already know he can score. His improvement on defense and as a playmaker will be crucial into him developing as a two-way star.

I really, really, really, really, really, really, hope he still remembers how to do this:

And this:

I still don’t think the Bulls got nearly enough, but I guess time will tell. With the T’Wolves finally getting on a roll, this may be one of those trades where both teams win.

LaVine is going to be a huge part of the future moving forward and ultimately, I think his ceiling can push the Bulls over the top in the Jimmy Butler trade.

Although I still don’t think Gar/Pax will bring us title #7, I have officially deleted all applications to become a fan of other NBA teams and it’s time to #SeeRed. Just remember, you can’t get the top pick in the draft if you’re winning NBA titles (just kidding).

Wanna talk Bulls? Tweet me @jdez_xo


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