Shooting guard Jimmy Butler is known as a scorer and a defensive player, qualities that can make him the foundation of a franchise. However, the Chicago Bulls didn’t see Butler as the team’s cornerstone whom they can build around and turn them into a contender in the near future. That’s why the Bulls didn’t think twice in deciding to ship Butler and 16th overall pick Justin Patton to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine and No. 7 pick Lauri Markkanen.

According to Zach Lowe of ESPN.com, the Bulls were rather publicly uncomfortable with the idea of “having Butler as a foundational player” and he frequently argued with coach Fred Hoiberg.

Butler questioning some of Hoiberg’s instruction created an uncomfortable atmosphere within the team. Now that he’s with the Timberwolves, the same situation will not happen with coach Tom Thibodeau, who is known for his hard-nosed personality.

The Timberwolves will emerge as contenders in the Western Conference with Butler’s arrival. He will team up with former No. 1 picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins as the Wolves try to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

Butler sends heartfelt message to Chicago after trade

After the trade, Butler posted a heartfelt message for Bulls fans on Instagram. He started off by saying that “I truly struggle with the words because you've been so much more than just my home for the last 6 years, you've been my life”.

He thanked the Bulls fans for embracing him as their son and for pushing him to get better every day. Butler also thanked the Bulls organization and Reinsdorf family for picking him 2011, saying “he’ll never forget the feeling I had when I was drafted and when I played my first minutes.”

Wolves eyeing Kyle Lowry as new playmaker

Aide from trading for Butler, the Wolves will also try to strengthen their point guard spot by pursuing Kyle Lowry first before Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague and George Hill.

The Wolves are depleted at point guard after sending Dunn and LaVine to the Bulls, with Ricky Rubio currently as their starting playmaker. Lowry will opt out of his deal with the Toronto Raptors and test the free-agent market.

As a 10-year veteran, Lowry can demand a maximum five-year deal in excess of $200 million from the Raptors.

Lowry can get a four-year deal worth around $30 million a year if he joins another team. The 31-year-old Lowry averaged 22.4 points in 60 regular-season games but he struggled in the playoffs, averaging just 15.8 points.

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