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Before blasting the Bulls' haul in the Jimmy Butler deal, check the record first

Before blasting the Bulls' haul in the Jimmy Butler deal, check the record first
Published On: Tue, Aug 22
Apr 13, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fist quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

When the Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler (and the rights to the No. 16 overall selection, which turned out to be Justin Patton) to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to this year's No. 7 overall pick (where they selected Lauri Markkanen) on draft night, the reaction around the league was nearly unanimous.

Chicago got absolutely fleeced.

Through one lens, the criticism is certainly understandable. Dunn had an awful rookie season, LaVine is a non-All-Star who could be in the market for something close to max deal next summer, and Markkanen, a promising 7-foot dead-eye shooter, is far from a sure thing. Ultimately, that's what people think the return should be for star players: A sure thing. They want young, budding All-Stars and/or high lottery picks.

But teams value draft picks -- and the player control that comes with them -- more than ever these days, particularly because the Warriors look like such strong title favorites in the near term. In planning for the future, a top pick locked up for four years on a rookie scale is more enticing than a ready-to-win-now player like Butler for the next two -- even if Butler's deal is team-friendly at less than $20 million per year.

Through that lens, you could argue the Bulls didn't get robbed, but in fact came out with three young, upside guys, two of whom (Dunn and Markkanen) went in the top seven of the past two drafts and are locked up for the next three and four years. That package actually stacks up pretty well against some recent deals when star players were moved. Take a look:

Read the complete news article here...


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