Bring the coolers, it's reunion time in Minnesota.
After Thursday's blockbuster trade between the Bulls and Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau are reunited. We'll find out in a few months whether or not it will feel so good, but it's an exciting transaction for a Timberwolves franchise that hasn't reached the postseason in 13 seasons.
Butler and Thibs spent four years together in Chicago, yielding a respectable degree of success. On one hand, Butler rose from role player to top-15 stud, conflating his high motor with sustained offensive improvement to become an NBA All-Star.
On the other, Thibs' relationship with Gar Forman and John Paxson rapidly trekked south, leading to his firing and replacement with Fred Hoiberg.
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Butler insisted he had nothing bad to say about Hoiberg, but it was clear their personalities didn't fully mesh. Now, he'll be back with a familiar, intense face.
The results expected for attempt two of the Thibs-Butler project are up in the air, but when the Timberwolves head coach addressed the media on Friday, he had nothing but positive things to say about Butler.
In less than 30 seconds of time, Thibs lauded Butler's growth and ability with 10 swift compliments:
1. "The thing that you can't overlook with him is his playmaking."
2. "You're getting a two-way player."
3. "You're getting a guy that can score a lot of different ways."
4. "He can guard multiple positions."
5. "He can actually guard four positions well."
6. "He makes big shots late."
7. "He plays the right way."
8. "He's tough."
9. "Practices hard."
10. "He's smart."
His conclusion? "We were excited to get him."
If you're instantly jealous, take the consolation that Thibs was sincere about how difficult it was to lose Zach Lavine and Kris Dunn.
"We hated to part ways with Zach and Kris," he told reporters. "To get a player like Jimmy, you have to give good players up and we did."
CSN's Mark Strotman also provided an in-depth scouting report on LaVine and Dunn.
As for the assumed awkwardness between the teams' front offices, Thibs echoed Gar/Pax sentiments. Both believed negotiations were "very professional."
And with that, both franchises have clearly chosen a direction.