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#pounditSunday, July 14, 2024

Report: Wolves making No. 5 pick available in hopes of trade for Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Bulls

Tom Thibodeau isn’t playing any games whatsoever as he tries to get his old gang back together.

According to a report by Marc Stein of ESPN on Monday, Thibodeau’s Timberwolves are making the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft available in the hopes of convincing the Chicago Bulls to trade them All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler.

Thibodeau coached the 26-year-old Butler in Chicago for the latter’s first four seasons in the league. Meanwhile, Butler’s issues with Thibodeau’s successor Fred Hoiberg have been well-documented as have the tensions between Butler and his Bulls teammates.

The Wolves are in need of a surefire primary scoring threat on the wing as Andrew Wiggins, still just 21 years old, isn’t quite there yet. They could also use Butler’s elite perimeter defense, having ranked fourth-worst in the league in defensive rating this past season, per NBA.com.

It will likely take much more than the No. 5 overall pick to pry away Butler, however, but Minnesota is fortunate to be teeming with bright, youthful talent galore. Shabazz Muhammad is one piece in particular that the Wolves have constantly struggled to find the proper role for. Ricky Rubio also appears to be a ubiquitous presence on the trading block, but he might not be the best fit on the Bulls unless they decide to move Derrick Rose off the ball.

Chicago may be insisting to teams that they are intent on keeping Butler. That’s essentially the modus operandi when dealing with a top-15 player in the league. But faced with the prospect of an aggressive Thibodeau, who also appears to be hot on the trail of another seemingly disgruntled former Bulls protégé, Joakim Noah, we can’t quite rule out the possibility of Butler being traded just yet.

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