This is a fascinating time for Timberwolves fans. Their franchise has a great future and is dealing from a position of strength. Now it's up to Tom Thibodeau to recognize that he holds the better hand.

And he probably does. Recent reports have suggested the Bulls want the fifth pick in the draft and either Zach LaVine or Andrew Wiggins for Jimmy Butler.

Thibodeau should hold the phone away from his mouth while he laughs, then say, ``No,'' and then realize that the Bulls are far more desperate to make a deal than he is.

I'd give the Bulls the fifth pick and a lesser player for Butler. I wouldn't trade Wiggins, who could be great, or LaVine, who is less polished but even more athletic and shoots with greater range.

With Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor and the young players are locked in for a handful of years, there's no reason to try to win right now. If the Wolves don't make a deal, they still could be a playoff team, and still could develop into one of the best teams in the league over the next three years.

LaVine and Wiggins both have a chance to be better than Butler, who is a very good player. Thibs should enjoy dealing from a strong hand.


I'm at Oakmont for the U.S. Open and will be writing and blogging daily.

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