Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired forward Jimmy Butler and the draft rights to center Justin Patton, the No. 16 selection in this year’s draft from the Chicago Bulls, in exchange for guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn and the draft rights to forward Lauri Markkanen, the No. 7 selection in this year’s draft.
Butler, a 6-7 forward, has played six seasons in the NBA, all with the Bulls. The three-time NBA All-Star (2015, 2016 and 2017) averaged career highs with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game this past season en route to earning 2016-17 All-NBA Third Team honors. Butler scored 30+ points 14 times in 2016-17, including a season-high 52 points vs. Charlotte on Jan. 2.
Butler, 27, owns career averages of 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 399 games. The Houston, Texas, native has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times (2014–2016) and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player after the 2014-15 season after increasing his scoring average from 13.1 ppg to 20.0 ppg and his rebounds from 4.9 rpg to 5.8 rpg while averaging the same minutes in each season. Chicago originally drafted Butler with the 30th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Marquette University.
Patton, 6-11, played in 35 contests over one season at Creighton, averaging 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals per game en route to earning Big East Freshman of the Year honors. Patton, 20, led the Big East and ranked second nationally with a field goal percentage of 67.6%, which stands as the highest field goal percentage of any freshman from a major conference in NCAA history. The Riverdale, Georgia, native also shot 53.3% from the three-point during his line season as a Bluejay. Patton sat out the 2015-16 season as a redshirt.
In 206 career NBA games, all in a Wolves uniform, LaVine averaged 13.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 28.9 minutes per contest. LaVine was drafted by the Wolves with the 13th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Dunn, originally drafted by the Wolves with the 5th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 3.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 17.1 minutes per contest in his rookie season with Minnesota.