With the recent news that All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler wants out of Minnesota, fans are casting their minds back to when the deal to acquire Butler from the Chicago Bulls on draft night in 2017 was first made.
To pair the All-Star swingman with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the Timberwolves had to give up three young pieces. Point guard Kris Dunn, who was selected with the fifth pick in the 2016 NBA draft, Zach LaVine, and the seventh pick in that year's draft, which turned out to be Finnish big man Lauri Markkanen.
At the time, it was thought that the Wolves had easily won the trade with the Bulls, as Butler would easily push them over the hump to finally make the playoffs after 14 years, and maybe even contend with the best in the West.
That was half-true, as Butler did help the Wolves make the postseason for the first time since 2004, but they barely scraped through as an eighth seed and were dispatched by the Houston Rockets in the first round.
And now, with Butler on the way out after only a year, the trade to snag him looks completely different.
The Bulls are now on the come-up, with Markkanen making the All-Rookie 1st team, and LaVine making big strides after a major ACL injury. Dunn has even improved massively after a disappointing rookie year with Minnesota.
So looking back on the trade, the Wolves gave up two, maybe even three potential All-Star caliber players, for a measly 59 games of All-Star Jimmy Butler, and will have almost nothing to show for it once they ship Butler off before the start of the regular season.