Sports

Jimmy Butler, Zach LaVine thank former teams after blockbuster trade


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While its inevitable for prospective rookies to find their new home on draft night, this 2017 NBA draft involved a blockbuster trade where two accomplished players will trade in their colors and area code.

Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls agreed to a blockbuster trade Thursday night, June 22, on NBA Draft night. Timberwolves acquired Bulls star shooting guard Jimmy Butler along with Bulls 2017 first round draft pick in exchange for 2016 dunk champion Zach LaVine, their 2016 first pick Kris Dunn and a seventh overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft that ended up being Lauri Markkanen out of Arizona.

The two main stars in this trade is three time NBA All-Star and All-Defensive team honoree Butler and LaVine, who is coming off a 2016-17 season ending injury which he torn his ACL. Both stars took to Instagram to pay homage to their former teams before beginning their new journey.

Chicago, What can I say?! I truly struggle with the words because you've been so much more than just my home for the last 6 years, you've been my life! You've embraced me like a son and pushed me to get better every day, every season. I can honestly say that I have always been incredibly motivated to succeed; it's just the way I'm built. But I know I owe so much to the person I am now, and to the player that I've become, to you. You always pushed me to never give anything less than my absolute best night in, night out. That's what you expected. That's what you deserved. And, I hope you know that's what I dedicated my life to every time I walked into the facility or stepped on the floor of the United Center. Thank you to the entire Bulls organization and Reinsdorf Family for taking a chance on me in 2011 and for giving me the opportunity to play the sport I love for such a great franchise. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I was drafted and when I played my first minutes. It's an experience that I wouldn't have wanted with any other team and I'm so thankful to you for giving me that opportunity. Chicago, I love you. Thanks for embracing a kid from Tomball like one of your own. On to a new home and a new organization. Thankfully, with some familiar faces! PS… AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT! THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY BEHIND THE ORGANIZATION THAT DO NOT GET THE SHINE THAT THEY DESERVE!! YALL ARE THE REAL ALL-STARS!! – Jimmy G. Buckets (@staceyking21 )

A post shared by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on

“Chicago, What can I say?! I truly struggle with the words because you’ve been so much more than just my home for the last 6 years, you’ve been my life! You’ve embraced me like a son and pushed me to get better every day, every season,” Butler posted on Instagram. “You always pushed me to never give anything less than my absolute best night in, night out. That’s what you expected. That’s what you deserved. And, I hope you know that’s what I dedicated my life to every time I walked into the facility or stepped on the floor of the United Center.

“Chicago, I love you. Thanks for embracing a kid from Tomball like one of your own.”

In Minnesota, Butler will be reuniting with his former coach Tom Thibodeau who coached him from 2011-15.

LaVine shared his sentiments with Minnesota Timberwolves on Instagram as well.

“Thank you to the Twolves organization, teammates and fans these last three years. You have been nothing but supportive and I wish you guys all the best,” LaVine posted on Instagram.

Although he’s leaving, LaVine has indicated he’s excited to be a Chicago Bull.

“As I begin my next chapter, I can’t wait to join the Chicago Bulls! It’s a dream come true to play for and represent a historic franchise with the best fan base in the world! Words can’t express my excitement to start meeting my new teammates, members of the organization and all the fans!!! Let’s get to work! #BullsNation 🔴⚪️⚫️”

Upon arrival, LaVine will be faced with the challenge to not only adjust to playing for a new organization and city, he’ll be coming off a career threatening injury in hopes to comeback stronger than ever.

By Gino Terrell

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