Does Butler put Minnesota in the Playoffs?


The Timberwolves traded Zach Lavine (3.0 WS), Kris Dunn (0.1 WS) and the number 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen) to the Bulls for Jimmy Butler (13.8 WS) and the 16th pick (Justin Patton). Patton and Markkanen are both 7-footers who just turned 20, not likely to produce much in their rookie seasons. Dunn was not able to find his footing in his rookie season with the Wolves. Lavine is a good young player and great scorer, but Butler had the 3rd best Win Score in the NBA last season.

On the surface, this trade will add about 11 Wins to the T’Wolves and give them a projected 42-40 finish. This will put them in contention for the last playoff spot, which the Trailblazers took last season with a 41-41 record. Coach Thibs is known to get the most out of his players and has a history of doing exactly that previously with Butler in Chicago, so I think we can expect the same when these two team up in Minnesota.