NBA: Jimmy Butler to join former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau at Minnesota Timberwolves

Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls at the third quarter of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on April 26, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls at the third quarter of Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on April 26, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

New York (AFP) - The Minnesota Timberwolves swung a deal with the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler on Thursday, reuniting the former first-round National Basketball Association (NBA) draft pick with his former coach Tom Thibodeau.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver confirmed the trade during the 2017 entry draft.

Butler was dealt for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Finland's Lauri Markkanen.

Also going to Minnesota will be the rights to Justin Patton, who was picked at No. 16 by the Bulls.

In 2011, Butler was the 30th overall pick by the Bulls.

He averaged a career-high 23.9 points last season as the Bulls were 41-41 and qualified for the play-offs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

 

Thibodeau coached Butler from 2011 to 2015. He joined the Timberwolves last season as coach and head of basketball operations.

By obtaining Butler, the Timberwolves are taking on the final three seasons of the US$95 million (S$131 million) deal he signed after the 2014-15 season.

LaVine is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Before getting hurt, LaVine shot 46 per cent and averaged a career-high 18.9 points per game.

Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in his only season of US college basketball at the University of Arizona .

In other trades on Thursday, the Brooklyn Nets traded Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers for guard D'Angelo Russell and centre Timofey Mozgov of Russia.

Russell was the second pick of the Lakers two years ago out of Ohio State University.

He averaged 13.2 points as a rookie and improved to 15.6 points last season as the Lakers won 26 games.

"We are extremely excited to welcome D'Angelo and Timofey to our Brooklyn Nets family," Nets general manager Sean Marks said.

"D'Angelo is a versatile young guard with a bright future and we are enthusiastic about continuing his development along with our young nucleus, while Timofey will provide a veteran presence who can contribute on both ends of the floor. Both are great fits within coach Kenny Atkinson's system."

In return, the Lakers will also receive the rights to forward Kyle Kuzma, who was drafted as the 27th pick.