(670 The Score) The Bulls have received the returns they were hoping for in the trade of Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves last June, with youngsters Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen flashing their potential and serving as building blocks for the organization’s future.
In Minnesota, it’s safe to say Tom Thibodeau and the Wolves have exactly what they wanted too, as Thibodeau explained in an interview with David Haugh and Dan McNeil on 670 The Score on Friday.
Butler has been magnificent in his first season outside of Chicago, averaging 22.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while leading the Wolves to a 34-23 mark, which is fourth-best in the West.
“Jimmy’s been unbelievable,” said Thibodeau, who coached Butler for his first four seasons with the Bulls before being fired in May 2015. “He’s really changed our culture. To take us from where we were to where we are now, we needed a player like Jimmy, a guy that was strong on both sides of the ball. Jimmy’s in a really good place. He’s just going into his prime. And I lot of the things that Karl (Anthony Tows) and Andrew (Wiggins) are going through, Jimmy just went through. So I think that’s been extremely valuable to those two young guys. And just seeing how Jimmy practices and how he prepares and how he plays every possession, you can learn a lot from that.”
Listen to Thibodeau’s full interview below. The Bulls and Wolves face off at the United Center on Friday night in the first matchup since the trade. Pregame on 670 The Score starts at 8:15 p.m.