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John Paxson won’t say he feels vindicated by Jimmy Butler trade

jimmy butler john paxson

Chicago Bulls current vice president of basketball operations John Paxson won’t admit that he feels vindication on trading former franchise superstar Jimmy Butler last season, as reported by Matt Peck of Locked on Bulls during NBA Media Day.

Paxson and the Bulls moved on from Butler last summer after they dealt him, along with the 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and the seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft, which turned out to be promising big man Lauri Markkanen.

Looking back, this seemed to be a steal for the Timberwolves, giving up Lavine, who was recovering from an ACL tear at the time, and Dunn, who did not show much promise in his rookie season. However, with the brewing disaster in Minnesota following Jimmy Butler’s trade request, it looks like the Bulls have become the winners of this trade.

Dunn had a promising sophomore year as the starting point guard in Chicago. Lavine has recovered well from his injury and is poised to take over as the leader of the team after signing a massive four-year, $78 million deal this summer.

Moreover, Markkanen had a surprisingly encouraging rookie campaign that saw him average 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists per game en route to being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The smooth-shooting Finnish big man also set the record by becoming the fastest player to make 100 threes.

While Paxson continues to stay mum about his feelings on how their trade last offseason eventually turned out, he did say that they have too many other things to worry about.

The Bulls are in rebuilding mode after the Jimmy Butler fallout last summer, and it seems like they are satisfied with their situation right now. Chicago added Jabari Parker in free agency and drafted versatile big man Wendell Carter Jr. in this year’s NBA draft to join their promising young core.

As for Paxson, he might just be locked in his office, laughing and eating popcorn while watching Minnesota’s turmoil unfold.