NEW YORK — The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick from the Chicago Bulls for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick, two people with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports.
The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the deal is officially announced.
The deal reunites Butler with Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Butler from 2011-2015. Thibodeau was fired following the 2015 season.
The deal also signifies a massive shift in philosophy for the Bulls, who despite persistent trade rumors surrounding Butler for more than a year, resisted dealing their franchise cornerstone. The Timberwolves' offer proved too appealing.
The Bulls had targeted both Dunn and LaVine ahead of last year's draft as well, but weren't overly impressed with the Timberwolves' offer at that time. Butler, a three-time All-Star, is one of the NBA's best two-way players and was linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week in trade talks. He averaged career-highs with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
The Timberwolves now boast an intriguing core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Butler. Known for his strong commitment to defense, Thibodeau often praised Butler's defensive tenacity while the two were in Chicago.
LaVine, who suffered a torn ACL last season, was a rising star last season before his injury. In 47 games he averaged nearly 19 points on 46% shooting from the field. Dunn, last year's No. 5 pick, averaged just 3.8 points and 2.4 assists in his rookie season.
The Bulls selected Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen with the No. 7 pick, and the Timberwolves took Creighton center Justin Patton at No. 16.
Photos: 2017 NBA Draft
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