The last six months have been marked by blockbuster trades and player movement, unlike any offseason we’ve seen before. Going back to the trade deadline, when the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, eight of the 30 best players in the NBA have switched teams. And in every case, they joined at least one player who was also in the top-30.
Some of those were free agent acquisitions, and some of them were by trades. When such trades are made, we tend to give our initial reactions and grades. Too often, though, we fail to come back and re-evaluate those initial instincts to see if we were right or wrong. Frankly, sometimes trades initially deemed bad work out, and those we thought were great, well, flop. Such is the case with the early returns this season.
To put it bluntly, we the masses and media got some things wrong. So let’s take a look at some of the recent trades based on the early season results.
The Jimmy Butler Trade
The Chicago Bulls dealt their only star player to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night, along with the draft rights to No. 16 pick, Justin Patton in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and Lauri Markkanen.
At the time it was severely panned. None of the players who were brought back seemed like someone you could build around, and that should be the goal in a trade like this.
The reality of it isn’t quite as bad as we thought, though. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like the Bulls are good or anything. The Bulls’ offense, relative to league averages, is currently the fourth-worst in NBA history (keeping in mind that offensive rating only goes back to 1973-74).
However, Dunn definitely looks better than he did last year, boosting his player efficiency rating from 8.1 to 11.0. Granted, that’s still not very good, but he’s showing promise that he could evolve into a legitimate rotation player.