The Chicago Bulls Zach LaVine is coming off his best season in the NBA. He made the All-Star team for the first time, and is headed to Tokyo for the Olympics. Still, even LaVine is the target of mean tweets.
Jimmy Kimmel has a segment on his show where NBA players read some of the mean tweets that are circulated on Twitter mentioning them by name.
Zach LaVine Reads Mean Tweet
LaVine read the tweet of a “fan” who took aim at the Bulls’ decision to trade Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for LaVine, and the No. 7 pick, which turned out to be Lauri Markkenen, and Kris Dunn.
LaVine “disagrees” with the fan, and takes “a hard pass,” on the obscene gesture suggested to anyone who isn’t on the same page with the person’s aggressive tweet.
Take a look and listen:
All jokes aside, how about that trade?
Did the Timberwolves Really Win the Trade?
Some may believe the Wolves got the better of the 2017 deal because Butler has ascended to a new level over the past two or three seasons in the NBA. Butler led the Miami Heat to the Finals in the NBA Bubble, and back to the playoffs this past season.
While LaVine has not been able to get the Bulls to the playoffs, even with the addition of Nikola Vucevic midway through this past regular season, you could make the argument LaVine is on Butler’s level as an overall player. LaVine had a higher scoring average last season, and owns a higher per-game clip over their careers. LaVine is a better shooter, overall. He had a higher field-goal percentage last season, and he blows Butler away as a three-point shooter. As far as natural athleticism is concerned, LaVine is among the elite, and Butler is a tier below.
However, Butler is a much better defender, rebounder and a superior passer. Butler also is better at getting to the free-throw line, and he converts at a higher percentage. It’s tough to make heads or tails of the comparison when looking at it that way.
That said, there are a few indisputable things in the Bulls’ favor when evaluating this trade on both sides.
While Chicago lost Dunn for nothing in free agency this past season. They are still holding on to Markkanen, whom they likely stand to flip into some sort of an asset as a part of a sign-and-trade, or perhaps a more direct swap sometime during the 2021-22 season.
Most importantly, LaVine is still on the roster, and he is the team’s unquestioned best player. He’s still only 26 years old and in a position to elevate again next season, while hopefully bringing the Bulls to another level. LaVine is headed toward the final year of his contract, but all signs point to him re-upping with the Bulls on a max deal moving forward. Things can change, but that appears to be the most likely string of events.
The Wolves have long moved on from Butler who clashed with Minnesota stars Karl-Anthony Towns and the since-departed Andrew Wiggins. Butler was then not re-signed by the Philadelphia 76ers, whom he was traded to in his exit from Minnesota.
Long story short, the Timberwolves don’t have the player they acquired in exchange for LaVine and the Markkanen pick. They don’t even have the player assets they received in exchange for Butler in the 76ers deal (Robert Covington, Dario Šarić, Jerryd Bayless and 2022 second round pick).
Considering LaVine is still with the Bulls–and flourishing–and Chicago still stands to gain from Markkanen’s presence–one way or another. It seems the Bulls actually won the trade.
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