If you had to pick one sound to sum up the NBA Draft, it wasn’t Markelle Fultz’s name being called first. Or Lonzo Ball being picked second. Or his dad doing what his dad does. And it wasn’t the sigh of relief from Knicks fans when Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t traded. Nope, the sound of the night was Thibs laughing.
The sound of a man who just worked his former team to get his favorite player, Jimmy Butler
The sound of a man who acquired a 3-time All-Star and a guy who is a perfect fit for his system and can’t believe how little he had to give up to get him. Of course Butler is a perfect fit for Thibs’ system; Butler’s been in his system before. And thrived in that system.
And that’s the sound of a guy who’ll be rolling out a starting lineup that includes Ricky Rubio, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns. It’s easy to see that four and start yelling, “Playoffs, baby!”
I love this trade. And it really will have an impact just not on the Wolves and Bulls but the entire league. The Wolves suddenly look like a player in the West. The Bulls are in a full blown rebuild and neither Boston or Cleveland are going to have Butler to use to make a run at Golden State. So this move does impact the entire league.
That said, and as nice as the T Wolves are, let’s slow that roll just a moment. This is still a T-Wolves team that had a lot of buzz going into last season and then finished 20 games below .500. But this move scratches them right where they itch – they’ve got young talent, they need a veteran leader to show them how it’s done. And nobody knows how it’s done in Thibs system better than Jimmy Butler.
If they were playing in the East, they’re a playoff lock and might even have homecourt in the first round. But they’re in the West, which is a meatgrinder, and they probably need to make up at least 10 wins to get near the playoffs. I don’t know if they’ll take that massive step in one year, but I know I’ll be checking them out.
As for the Bulls, you’re never going to get value for Jimmy Butler. You lose any trade where you’re shipping out an All-Star and not getting one back in return. Those are the facts. They got worked. And if that really was the best they could do, then they shouldn’t have moved him. And if that’s the best they could do, and I’m freaking out if I’m the Indiana Pacers, because Paul George only has one year left on his deal and has made it clear, not only does he want out, but he wants to go the Lakers. If that’s all the Bulls could get for Butler how the Pacers going to do any better for Paul George? The answer, obviously, is that they won’t.
But the worst part of the deal for Chicago wasn’t even what they got from Minnesota, it was what they got from Jimmy Butler’s trainer, Travelle Gaines – who served up as brutal an assessment of the Bulls front office as you possibly can in 140 characters: “0-82. Worst culture in the league. I met drug dealers with better morals then their GM. He is a liar and everyone knows.”
STRAIGHT. FREAKING FIRE.
Gar Forman just went face first into the canvas and as Andre Ward said the other day, the face-first knockout is the worst kind of knockout.
Let’s break that whole tweet down from the top: “0-82.” That’s good. Strong. Unrealistic, but a good table-setter. Then he chases that with “Worst culture in the league.” Now we’re getting somewhere. By this point, Gaines has Forman on the ropes and he’s working him hard. Not just a mediocre team culture, or a bad team culture, but the worst culture in the league.
And then like any of game’s greats, Gaines is looking to finish and close the show, and says: : “I met drug dealers with better morals then their GM.”
The Twitter ref should’ve stopped the fight right there. There should be some code in the Twitter app that would’ve prevented Gaines from going any further because at that point, Forman was unable to protect himself. He was out on his feet.
But Gaines was allowed to land another shot… and land it he did: “He is a liar and everyone knows.”
If Twitter allowed 180 characters, Gaines probably would’ve called him a liar and a felon.
You can take that tweet, carve it in wood, and put it on the wall because it’s never coming down. Nobody’s ever reacting to an NBA trade with that level of ferocity and passion. And I love it. Even better than making it into a plaque, just unplug Twitter and shut it down forever. There might be worse trades than the one the Bulls made last night, but there will never be a better reaction. Ever.