Butler’s trade demands leave the “Timberbulls” in check

After recently voicing his frustrations with the team, the Timberwolves may need to deal the talented player.

John LaForest
Staff Writer

The Minnesota Timberwolves have gone through a lot of changes in the past year and half as a franchise. Everywhere from the general manager of the team, to the head coach, to the player roster has been gutted from top to bottom for this team, a lot of them interesting enough coming from the Chicago Bulls franchise.

These changes bestowed the nickname “Timberbulls” because of the amount of former Bulls players and coaches on their current roster. 

 The upcoming season for the Timberwolves will feature, as of right now, four former players of Tom Thibodeau, who also the former head coach for the Chicago Bulls.

The former Bulls players currently on the team in Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose, and Loul Deng have now all reunited together on the Timberwolves, all joining the team respectively in that order. 

The Wolves are coming off a first-round exit at the hands of the Houston Rockets last season in five games. The team had not been to the playoffs since the 2004-2005 season when they had the future Hall of Famer in Kevin Garnett. 

The success of last year’s team can be heavily credited with the “Timberbulls” or the former Bulls players, with Butler being at the forefront of the core of former Bulls on this team.

Butler was named an All-Star and an All-NBA player for the team and lead the team in PPG, and most nights looked like the best player on the floor. Now, he wants to leave the team and make a name for himself elsewhere.

While Butler wanting to leave might be an issue for this team, the team has a lot of talent to at least make the playoffs. 

Former MVP Derrick Rose seemed to be a bright light toward the end of the season for the Wolves, especially in the playoffs. He is known for being the youngest MVP but hasn’t been the same after multiple knee surgeries on both knees. The postseason is where he really shined and showed flashes of his time when he was in Chicago. He averaged 14.2 PPG off the bench and was by far the team’s best bench scorer, providing that spark.  

Even former Wolves player, and future Hall of Famer, Kevin Garnett, commented on Rose and what his role should be this upcoming season and whether he should start over last year’s starting point guard Jeff Teague, which led Garnett to say: 

“He’s more crafty now than ever in the pick-and-roll. He’s able to get shots for guys and he’s able to knock shots down”.

From 2010-2015, Tom Thibodeau served as the head coach for Chicago Bulls. Serving as head coach for the Bulls gave Thibodeau a lot of success. The team went to the postseason every year, going as far as the Eastern Conference Finals. 

It’s not all sunshine on the history with the players and coach Thibodeau.

Jimmy Butler decided not to sign an extension with the team this offseason which raised some eyebrows and questions on how committed he’s going to be this season, and now with the only notable signing for the Wolves this season being Loul Deng, who is way past his prime and serves more as a mentor, it begs the question: will this team recover if they indeed trade Butler?

The upcoming season for the “Timberbulls” should be interesting with these storylines. In the end, the Wolves hope to find themselves in the playoffs this season, and maybe hit a few lucky shots at the end of games.

 Feature Photo: Jimmy Butler (right) has expressed his disinterest with the franchise lately, pleading to be traded from the team due to internal things surrounding his contract, and the organization. (Courtesy of the Associated Press)

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