NBA Trade Rumors: Bulls Star Jimmy Butler, Lakers Vet Luol Deng Among Possible Minnesota Timberwolves Target

By James Johansson, Posted: 12/24/16 02:57PM EST
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Will the Chicago Bulls trade Jimmy Butler before the deadline?(Photo : YouTube / Chicago Bulls)

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been struggling in their first season under new head coach Tom Thibodeau. While they are currently in 13th place in the Western Conference standings, the Wolves are still within striking distance in the race for a playoff spot this season.

While they are viewed as a team of the future because of their promising young stars, it is no secret that Thibodeau also wants to win now or at least make the playoffs. This is the reason why the Wolves are being mentioned in trade rumors, particularly talks involving Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler and Los Angeles Lakers veteran Luol Deng.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report said late last month that Thibodeau will seriously consider big trades before the deadline. The NBA analyst said that Thibs could give up one of his young players in exchange for a veteran, who could help the Timberwolves win now.

Bucher added that Thibodeau will want to get a player who is familiar with his system. This is why both Butler and Deng were named among the realistic trade targets for the Timberwolves.

The rumors involving Butler is not too surprising anymore, as talks during the offseason revealed that the Minnesota badly wanted to get the superstar guard. The Bulls were reportedly asking for Andrew Wiggins in return, but the Timberwolves did not budge.

But in the event the two teams decide to talk again, the talks will likely center on the inclusion of both Zach LaVine and rookie Kris Dunn. However, giving up both Dunn and LaVine will be a costly move for the Timberwolves, Sir Charles In Charge reported.

If Thibodeau wants a deal where he will not be forced to give up much, the report mentioned a possible trade for Deng. Deng was signed to provide veteran leadership to the young Lakers squad but is not considered untouchable. The Lakers will likely ask just for one young asset in a trade involving the 31-year-old forward.

"There's a familiarity between the two, so this seems like a natural fit. The Wolves likely won't have to give up much for Deng, probably just one of their young assets," Sir Charles In Charge noted.



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