Jimmy Butler takes on the questions. On the NBA’s 2016 draft night, for the first hour of the proceedings at least, the name on everyone’s lips was “Jimmy Butler.” Everyone knew Ben Simmons would be taken No. 1 overall by Philadelphia, Woj already had picks 1-through-19 (all 19-year olds, incidentally) tweeted out, but just about every other tweet besides those in the moments leading up to the draft had the Chicago Bulls swingman potentially on his way toward either Boston or, in a new twist, a Minnesota Timberwolves team fronted by ex-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Chicago fans were apoplectic at the thought of dealing a player who averages over 20 points while playing standout defense for a prospect that someday could average over 20 points while playing standout defense, but such is the lack of faith Bulls fans have in their team’s front office that many expected a deal to eventually be agreed upon.
When Amar’e Stoudemire retired, I said history will treat him better than present-day analysis — maybe even to the point he gets legitimate Hall of Fame consideration. Get past Stoudemire’s injury-caused decline with the Knicks and his wayward years with the Mavericks and Heat, and Stoudemire was a heck of a player with the Suns (and in his first year in New York). Thanks to the NBA, the process of remembering Stoudemire for his peak can begin immediately. I was blown away by the first few highlights before realizing they were just the introduction for the top 10.