I’m still buzzing about draft night as a Kings fan. It could be the final touch of our future and I couldn’t be more excited. Who I’m not excited for however: the Chicago Bulls. The Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick who ended up being Justin Patton in return for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and the seventh pick who ended up being Lauri Markkanen.
At first glance, this haul doesn’t look too bad. Zach Lavine is one of the most athletic players in NBA history, Kris Dunn was a projected top three pick last year who fell to fifth, and Lauri Markkanen has gotten comparisons to Kristaps Porzingis. The issue with the trade however is that Zach Lavine experienced a torn ACL that will most likely keep him out of games until midseason, Kris Dunn looks like a bust so far through his career, and the guy the Timberwolves drafted 16th might be better than Markkanen in my opinion.
The Bulls knew they wouldn’t be competing for a championship next year no matter what they did, so I respect that they tried to move their best player before he decided to move himself via free agency. The issue with that is that Jimmy Butler didn’t intend on leaving the Bulls anytime soon, so they kind of backstabbed him in a way. Similar to the comments Demarcus Cousins made about the Kings when they drafted them, Jimmy Butler said he wished “the Bulls could’ve handled some things better.” This could cause problems for the Bulls’ front office in the future.
The worst part of this trade was that the Bulls had to give up their pick along with Jimmy Butler. The Timberwolves selected Justin Patton, who in my opinion can be better than Lauri Markkanen who the Bulls took with the seventh pick. Markkanen was slotted around the 10 pick in most mocks, while Patton was usually slotted around the middle of the first round. Because of Patton’s size and speed, I think he has the potential to be an amazing center, either starting or off the bench. Personally, I am not that high on Markkanen, and I don’t see a way of scoring he can go to consistently.