Trade grades: Bulls get pennies on the dollar for Butler
USA Today Sports

The Chicago Bulls dangled their lone star player in trade rumors for almost two years before finally dealing away Jimmy Butler for pennies on the dollar.

Chicago received Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and the No. 7 pick used on Lauri Markkanen from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Butler and the 16th selection used on Justin Patton.

Here are the trade grades for each team.

Chicago: D

The Bulls had an elite two-way player under control for two more years. That should have fetched much more than what they received.

LaVine is the crown jewel in the deal. The two-time dunk champion has flashed plenty of potential in his three seasons, but he's recovering from a torn ACL. LaVine averaged 18.9 points and three assists while shooting a blistering 38.7 percent from deep on 6.6 attempts per game, but the Timberwolves were substantially more successful when he sat. He's a talented scorer but he doesn't create for others and his defense is poor.

Dunn is a much bigger question mark. The Bulls tried to acquire Dunn at last year's draft, but Minnesota was too enamored with his defensive potential and composure. Very little of that translated over to his rookie year, however, as Dunn put up 3.8 points and 2.4 assists on 37.7 percent shooting while struggling to find minutes on a bottom-tier club. He's already 23 and it's unclear what he does at an NBA level beyond being a plus athlete.

Lastly, Chicago used the 7th pick on Markkanen. The Finnish center has tremendous shooting range for his size, but his closest NBA comparison is Channing Frye. He can definitely stretch the floor, but Markkanen doesn't offer much physical presence in the paint on either end of the floor.

This isn't necessarily about LaVine, Dunn, or Markkanen. Those are fine pieces to build around, even if none of them hold clear star potential. It's about getting full return on an All-NBA forward with two years left on his deal who plays elite defense and can also score an efficient 24 points per game.

The Bulls not only sunk their reputation even further in the mud by dealing Butler despite all assurances otherwise, but they didn't even get their money's worth.

Minnesota: A

Dealing away young assets isn't a concern for the Timberwolves, since they already hold two Rookie of the Year winners in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.

What they needed was a consummate professional with a winning mindset like Butler to deliver stability on both ends of the floor. Minnesota was a talented and capable club last season, but it would habitually fall into five-minute lulls where it lost focus and gave up massive runs that led to losses. Butler offers much-needed leadership for a young club in desperate need of organization.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau raised Butler during their time in Chicago, molding him from a limited 3-and-D wing into a truly elite two-way contributor. Butler's scoring is a definite plus, but his defensive talents might be even more important for a Timberwolves side that ranked 27th in defensive efficiency last season.

The bottom line also matters in a small, struggling market. The Timberwolves haven't made the playoffs in over a decade, and attendance is poor despite boasting two of the best prospects in the league. Making a legit postseason run with Butler, Wiggins, and Towns will go a long way toward reviving a once-proud franchise.

Trade grades: Bulls get pennies on the dollar for Butler
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