Now that the 2017 NBA Draft has come and gone, presidents and general managers are going to come out and give their explanations of why their team decided to go in one direction over another or why they drafted Player Y instead of Player X.
There were some pretty interesting things that went down in this year’s Draft, so the explanations will be welcomed.
But can they really be believed?
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) June 23, 2017
Some will be obvious.
Minnesota traded away two players and the seventh overall pick to Chicago for Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick. Why? Butler is a top-15 player in the NBA, he is familiar with coach Tom Thibodeau’s complicated defensive scheme, he’s one of the best two-way players in the league, he brings veteran leadership to a young locker room…the list goes on and on.
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) June 24, 2017
Chicago’s motivation for trading him?
They likely didn’t want to pay him a max deal when his current contract runs out in two years.
If Butler would have been named the league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, or make an All-NBA team in either of those two seasons, he would have met the requirements to earn the Designated Player Extension (DPE).
That designation would have earned Butler approximately 5-year/$246 million under a projected $120 million salary cap if he were to re-sign with the Bulls in ’19.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 22, 2017
The Sixers wanted the No. 1 overall pick because they have two Rookie of the Year finalists in PF Dario Saric and C Joel Embiid and last year’s No. 1 overall selection, Ben Simmons, will probably be the starting small forward.
Add in a talented, hardworking kid with a high basketball IQ and great court vision to the backcourt like Markelle Fultz and suddenly you aren’t looking at another lottery pick next year.