It was just last summer when the Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA Draft. With the trade of Butler, the Bulls established that they were on the course of a full rebuild. When the trade was first made, there was a decent amount of skepticism from Bulls followers regarding what they got in return. Meanwhile, Butler was going to a young athletic team in his prime as he reunited with former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. It was already being called a "bad trade."

Months later, the return package of Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine is looking really good for Chicago.

While LaVine just came back from a knee injury, he has looked solid in his short time so far with the Bulls. Dunn is shooting and playing better than people initially imagined and Markkanen has impressed all season. Butler is still doing well in Minny, but in the long run this looks like a good deal for Chicago.

Success of the youngsters

The Bulls now have all three young assets they got playing on the court healthy. While Markkanen has played since day one of the season, LaVine had months to get healthy and missed the 2017 portion of the season. As of 1/16, Markkanen has started in all 41 games he has played in, despite missing a few matches due to back problems. So far he is averaging 30.1 minutes per game while averaging 15.5 points per game, 1.3 assists, 2.5 three-pointers and shooting .430 from the field.

At just 20 years old, the kid has impressed many, including LeBron James. While there are still plenty of development to be had, he is off to a very good start.

Probably the biggest surprise has been Kris Dunn. Concerns about his shooting came up after the trade was made based on his rookie 2016-2017 season with the Wolves.

He has been very effective as an all-around player through the first 39 games played with the Bulls. His field goal percentage last year was .377% while it is .433% this year as he is also averaging 13.6 points per game and 6.4 assists per game. So far he has scored 20-plus points in seven games this season. His pure athleticism is very refreshing as the Bulls lacked young athletic players outside of Butler over the past few seasons.

LaVine has just two games under his belt as a Chicago Bull. The 22-year old guard played just under 20:00 in both games against the Pistons and Heat and scored 14 his first game with 18 the second game. Between those two games he is shooting .571% with seven assists and 32 points. If he stays healthy and keeps up this pace, he will be another very valuable asset.

Butler in Minny

Jimmy Butler and the Timberwolves are doing pretty well right now. Minnesota is 29-16 while sitting at the third seed in the West. Butler is putting up typical Butler numbers with 21.5 points per game, .474 shooting percentage, 1.2 three-pointers per game and 5.1 assist per game. Right now Minnesota will have a chance to chase the Houston Rockets for the two seed and set up a potential long playoff run.

Butler has no doubt been one of the center pieces of this team.

Butler will be under contract through next season with a player option in 2019-2020, so the Timberwolves have him under team control for another season and a half. Meanwhile, the Bulls will continue to grow and develop these already valuable assets for the future. The trade in the end satisfied both sides as they were both in very different positions last offseason. For now, the Timberwolves have what they need now and the Bulls look great long term.