How was your week

Posted: June 24, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We had back to back drafts to end the week as the NBA held their draft on Thursday night followed by the NHL draft on Friday night. In both cases it was a Chicago team that made some moves no one was expecting either during or right before the draft took place.

The NBA draft went pretty much as expected to start. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Markelle Fultz to get the evening started. The Los Angeles Lakers did end up taking Lonzo Ball and the circus that comes along with him at #2. Then will the Boston Celtics where on the clock there was some trade news. Now there had been rumors that the Celtics where considering moving the 3rd pick and I’m sure everyone just thought that had made that move. Well as it turned out the Celtics took Jayson Tatum with the 3rd pick and the trade was between the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves sent the #7 pick in the draft along with guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine to the Bulls in return for the 16th pick and Jimmy Butler. Now there has been a lot of talk about the Bulls trading Butler, but after Butler himself had told the Cleveland Cavaliers he wasn’t interested in playing for them it looked like he’d stay with Chicago.

Butler was the 30th pick in the 2011 draft and will be playing for his former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. Butler had the best season of his career in 2016-17. He averaged career highs in points (23.9), rebounds (6.2), assists (5.5) and steals (1.9) while also shooting 36.7% from behind the 3-point line. Butler is signed for two more seasons and has a player option for a third in 2019-20.  With the addition of Butler the Timberwolves look like they have a starting five that could compete for a playoff spot in a tough Western Conference.

With the 16th pick the Timberwolves got in the deal they selected Justin Patton a 7″0 foot Center from Creighton. Patton was a redshirt his first year at Creighton; so he only has 35 games of college basketball under his belt. He averaged 12.9 points per game and grabbed 6.2 rebounds per game in that one season. He did have 13 straight double-doubles at one point during the season and was named the Big East Freshman of the Year as well as making the All Big East 2nd team.

As part of the return for Butler the Bulls got LaVine who was the 13th pick in the 2014 draft and was having his best offensive season last year until it was cut short when he torn the ACL in his left knee in February. LaVine has mostly been known for his dunks. He’s a two time dunk contest winner and has even posted some of his dunks on YouTube. Last season in 47 games LaVine posted his best points per game average in his career at 18.9. LaVine also posted his highest minutes per game average at 37.2 per game and shot his best percentage from the floor at 45.9%. LaVine has played both point guard and shooting guard in his career.

The Bulls also received point guard Kris Dunn in the deal. Dunn was someone the Bulls where interested in selecting in the 2016 draft, but the Timberwolves used the #5 pick on him. Dunn played just a little over 17 minutes a game as a rookie, but Tom Thibodeau has never really given rookies lots of minutes, Dunn did appear in 78 games; averaging 3.8 points per game while handing out 2.4 assists per game.

With the 7th pick that Chicago got in the deal they selected Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen is 20 years old from Vantaa Finland, but played last season at the University of Arizona. Markkanen is 7″0 feet tall and shoots the 3 like the new NBA style dictates. He made 42.3% of his 3-point attempts last season. He averaged 15.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game in his one season at Arizona, but he was a first team all Pac-12 selection, as well as first team all Pac-12 Freshman team and first team all Pac-12 team.

Just looking at the trade it appears as though the Timberwolves got the better of it at the start. Butler is a multiple time All-Star and a very good two way NBA player. Of course if LaVine recovers from his injury and Dunn is the type of player who deserved to be draft at #5 things could even out down the line.

Before the NHL draft Friday night the Chicago Blackhawks made a couple of trades that probably surprised their fans a little.

The first deal saw the Blackhawks send defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for two defenseman Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin.

Now Hjalmarsson isn’t a high scoring defenseman; he had 5 goals and 13 assists in 73 games last season. What he does do is some of the things that teams need that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Hjalmarsson averaged 21.30 minutes of ice time last season and was 6th in the NHL in blocked shots with 181.

Heading to Chicago in the deal is Connor Murphy who scored 2 goals and had 15 assists in 77 games last season for Arizona. The Blackhawks also get Laurent Dauphin who scored 2 goals and had 1 assist in 24 games last season.

The Blackhawks weren’t done dealing though as they sent Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and a 2017 6th round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and a 2018 5th round pick.

Panarin had been with the Blackhawks two seasons after spending nine seasons in the KHL. Panarin won the Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) scoring 30 goals and 47 assists his first season in the NHL. Last season Panarin scored 31 goals and had 43 assists; that what made it a bit of a surprise that the Blackhawks dealt him.

Tyler Motte played in 33 games last season scoring 4 goals and picking up 3 assists. Motte was the 121st selection of the 2013 draft.

Saad spent the first three seasons of his NHL career with the Blackhawks before they traded him to Columbus. Saad scored 53 points each of his season with the Blue Jackets. Last season Saad had 24 goals and 29 assists. Saad also made his first All-Star team while with Columbus.

The Blackhawks seem to be looking for a back up goaltender since Scott Darling was traded at the start of the off season. Will Anton Forsebrg be that guy? Forsberg played just 1 game for the Blue Jackets last season as he spent the season playing for the Cleveland Monsters in the AHL. Forsberg played 51 games and posted a 27-17-6 record with a Goals Against Average of 2.28. Forsberg has just 10 games of NHL experience.

What do you think of these trades the Chicago teams made before or during their drafts? Please let me know in the comments section.

Don’t forget that you can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

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