The Minnesota Timberwolves want to acquire Jimmy Butler for the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. However, the Chicago Bulls are expected to demand a hefty package in exchange for the All-Star guard.
The Timberwolves are strongly interested in acquiring Butler and are ready to give up their first-round pick in a deal before the draft, ESPN reported. The report added that Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau, who coached Butler in Chicago, wants to reunite with the 26-year-old guard.
Butler, who averaged 20.9 points on top of 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season, developed as one of the best two-way guards in the league under Thibodeau’s tutelage. The Bulls remain mum about their plans on Butler, but recent NBA trade rumors indicated that they are listening to offers for the former Marquette star.
The Bulls, who failed to make the playoffs this season under first-year head coach Fred Hoiberg, are interested in acquiring a first-round pick, which they could use in picking Providence guard Kris Dunn. However, they are expected to ask for other pieces aside from the first-round pick if they decide to trade Butler.
The Bulls will reportedly demand for 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins in any deal for Butler, Chicago Tribune reported. The Timberwolves could also convince the Bulls to part ways with Butler if they can assemble a multi-team trade that would give Chicago a proven frontline player.
Sources said the Bulls are confident that they are still in the driver’s seat in any negotiation for Butler despite the fact that the fifth-year guard publicly called out coach Hoiberg this season. Butler has reportedly sat down with Hoiberg after their season ended and has reiterated that he is good terms with his coach.
“I think we’re on a pretty good page right now,” Butler said. “I’m not going to say we’re alike in every single way, but we both want to win and we both have the team’s best interest at heart.”
Aside from the Timberwolves, recent NBA trade rumors also suggested that the Celtics are eyeing Butler and are willing to trade their No. 3 pick this year along with Jae Crowder. Butler signed a five-year deal worth $90 million with the Bulls last summer.