Trades! Each and every draft, we hear constant rumors about trades. Big names heading to desirable markets in return for high draft picks. And each and every year, big deals fall by the wayside. The 2017 NBA Draft finally featured what all fans have been clamoring for: transactions. Here’s a look at some of the notable acquisitions made on Thursday night.
Jimmy Butler Traded To Minnesota
Shortly after the draft began, we got our first blockbuster deal. The Chicago Bulls dealt the 27-year-old to Minnesota in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and the seventh pick in the first round. The move signals a clear rebuild for the Bulls. But, did they get enough value for their star shooting guard? Dunn was a highly touted prospect taken fifth in last year’s draft. LaVine appears to be on the verge of breaking into superstardom; averaging a career-high 18.9 points per game last season. The two youngsters will serve as the building blocks for the Bulls’ foundation of the future. It remains to be seen if either player can eventually perform at Butler’s level though.
The Timberwolves have sent a clear message to the rest of the Western Conference. Reuniting Jimmy Butler with former coach Tom Thibodeau suggests the T-Wolves are ready to win now. The 6’7” Butler averaged 23.9 PPG with a mediocre Bulls squad last season. Butler combined with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, could easily give Minnesota a look at postseason play in 2017-18. While the majority of the media has crushed the Bulls for this deal, it does have the potential to pan out for both sides.
Markelle Fultz Goes First Overall
Most of the more notable transactions occurred before the draft, and this one was the biggest of all. Known for their non-stop collection of draft picks, Danny Ainge and company sent the first overall pick to Philly in exchange for the number three pick plus a top-five selection next year.
The 76ers took Washington’s Markelle Fultz with the number one pick. The future is bright in Philly with Fultz joining the likes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The Celtics meanwhile, continue to add to their arsenal of assets. Many experts believe they plan to flip those picks for an already established superstar.
Hornets Get Howard And Nets Acquire Russell
The Charlotte Hornets will be Dwight Howard’s third team in three years. The Hornets hope the 31-year-old can show flashes of the form that made him an elite player in this league. Charlotte believes Dwight may be the missing piece to help get them over the top after finishing just outside the top-eight a year ago.
D’Angelo Russell was shipped to Brooklyn alongside Timofey Mozgov. The L.A. Lakers did this in large part to create cap space. Rumors have been swirling around LeBron James’ upcoming free agency. The three-time NBA champion has been linked to the Lakers. Could LA be setting up for a nice sales pitch to James come 2018?
Still to come….
Paul George to the Celtics almost happened last night. It was so close to happening, it was actually confirmed….by a fake twitter account. Will a deal come down in the next few days or will the Celtics have to wait until the forward becomes a UFA in the off-season? Boston and George seem like a match made in heaven as bean town gears up to overtake the Cleveland Cavaliers atop the Eastern Conference.