Jimmy Butler rose to prominence while playing for then-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who is now the coach and president of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesThe NBA 2K17 MT Coins , who hold the No. 3 overall pick, are also known to have trade interest in Butler, while sources say that the Bulls are highly intrigued by Providence guard Kris Dunn, who is projected to be selected in the 3-to-5 range in the June 23 draft.
The No. 5 pick alone clearly wouldn’t be sufficient to pry Butler from the Bulls, but Minnesota’s own cache of trade assets — given the various up-and-coming players on its roster — would theoretically enable the Wolves to either deal with Chicago directly or assemble a multiteam trade scenario.
Signals from the Bulls and their Butler intentions, meanwhile, have been mixed. The club asked Butler to represent it on the dais at the May 17 draft lottery, but Bulls general manager Gar Forman — after Chicago missed the playoffs — did say shortly after the regular season ended that “we have to explore all options” when directly asked about Butler’s future as a franchise cornerstone.
Butler signed a five-year deal worth in excess of $90 million last summer shortly after winning NBA Most Improved Player honors for the 2014-15 season.