• This past summer, the Wolves and the Bulls hooked up on a deal that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, while Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine went to Chicago. Taj Gibson was also traded at the deadline last year and has yet to play against Chicago after spending his first eight seasons there.

    This makes for a major reunion between the teams for a collection of players that are well respected by their former organizations. Add in Brooks’ short time in Chicago and of course Tom Thibodeau’s tenure as head coach and there’s sure to be plenty of banter and friendly competition going on.┬áThere will be some extra motivation on both sides.

    The direction of both teams was abundantly clear after the results of the trade. The Wolves were ready to win, which is why they wanted Butler, while the Bulls were ready to move on and rebuild, which is why they wanted youth. So far this season each team has acted according to plan.

    Butler and his influences have played a huge factor in the Wolves’ 34-23 record and fourth-place start, while Kris Dunn has developed into a significantly better player than he was at any point last year. They used the Wolves’ draft pick on Lauri Markkanen, who is currently their second-leading scorer behind LaVine.

    In fact the top-three scorers for the Bulls are the three players they acquired in the trade, while Butler is the leading scorer for the Wolves. Things have worked out for both sides nicely so far in a rare “win-win” trade.

    That being said the Bulls are still a poor basketball team and, despite the extra emotions on the floor, the Wolves are in a position to take this game without much resistance. The Bulls are 18-35, and outside of a stretch where they went 15-8 they have been terrible.

    The future of their franchise rests in the hands of the three players they acquired from Minnesota, along with the player they select in the upcoming draft. Even with some extra motivation to beat the heart of the team they once were, the Wolves will come out with that very same desire.

    Key Matchup:

    – Jimmy Butler vs. Zach LaVine

    As a member of the Wolves during some real tough seasons, LaVine stood out during his tenure as an easy player for Wolves’ fans to gravitate towards. Not only is he a dynamic player on the floor as a combo guard with top-end athleticism and scoring ability, but he’s an excellent person off the court.

    He was the toughest piece to part with for Minnesota but a necessary price to acquire Butler. The two will face off in this matchup and LaVine will certain play with a chip on his shoulder. He’s coming off an ACL tear and isn’t quite up to his usual speed yet but has gradually been ramping up the activity.

    Over his last three games he’s averaging 23.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.3 3-pointers on 46.9 percent shooting overall and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc in 28.3 minutes per game.

    Jimmy Butler will, once again, have the honors of tackling the toughest matchup. While LaVine won’t quite have his top-end athleticism on display, he still makes for an uncomfortable assignment to guard. The added pressure of returning to Chicago adds a bit of extra drama to the scenario as well.

    Butler tend to let those distractions wash right over him.

    Lineups:

    Jeff Teague – PG

    Jimmy Butler – SG

    Andrew Wiggins – SF

    Taj Gibson – PF

    Karl-Anthony Towns – C

    vs.

    Jerian Grant – PG

    Zach LaVine – SG

    Justin Holiday – SF

    Lauri Markkanen – PF

    Robin Lopez – C

    Injuries:

    Omer Asik (trade) – QUESTIONABLE

    Kris Dunn (concussion) – OUT

    Lauri Markkanen (personal) – PROBABLE

    Cameron Payne (foot) – OUT

    Willie Reed (suspended) – OUT

    Noah Vonleh (trade) – OUT

    Where to Watch:

    9:30 ET/8:30 CT on Fox Sports North and ESPN

Fantasy News

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Dwight Howard has agreed with the Grizzlies on a buyout, and will sign a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers.

    The Lakers are giving Howard an opportunity to be fantasy relevant. When given minutes, Dwight can produce double-doubles with the best of them, but he has been changing teams for years now. He will be worth a gamble at the end of your draft if camp with the Lakers goes well, but this is a non-guaranteed deal, and he only played nine games last season.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Marcus Derrickson
    PF, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Marcus Derrickson to an Exhibit 10 contract on Friday.

    It looks like Derrickson will be a G-League option for the Hawks, so there's nothing to see here. At one point he was competing for the last roster spot on the team. We don't need to keep of track of every computer-generated player.

    Source: Chris Vivlamore on Twitter

  • Marreese Speights
    C, Free Agent

    Marreese Speights will work out for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopshype.

    Speights spent last year playing in China and will attempt his NBA comeback with the Lakers. who are in desperate need of an additional center. He is among three centers the Lakers are looking into, the others being Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah. Of those three, Speights unquestionably has the best floor spacing ability, which would be his strongest bet to eke out those other two for the job.

    Source: Alex Kennedy on Twitter

  • Trevor Booker
    PF, International

    Trevor Booker has worked out for the Nuggets and has workouts planned with the Bucks and Clippers, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

    Booker was out of the NBA in 2018-19, spending the season in China after he didn't get any offers in free agency. He did return to the US to undergo a procedure on his foot but is apparently fully recovered. The last time we saw Booker he split 68 games between the Nets, Sixers and Pacers in 2017-18. If he does make a successful comeback he'll have no fantasy relevance.

    Source: Alex Kennedy on Twitter

  • John Henson
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    In a recent Q & A on Cleveland.com, beat writer Chris Fedor said that the Cavs are "excited" to have a healthy John Henson.

    Henson underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist last November and missed the rest of the season. He was limited to 14 games with Milwaukee before getting traded to the Cavs, averaging 5.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13.4 minutes per game. The Cavs do have a crowded rotation at center with Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. all candidates to see minutes, but Henson gives them an element of rim protection and could factor in. He's a name to remember for deep-league owners hunting blocks.

    Source: Cleveland.com

  • Robert Covington
    SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Robert Covington (right knee bone bruise) will reportedly be "good to go" for the start of training camp in October.

    Well, this is good news that we didn't hope we would need. Covington played 35 games last year and couldn't get over the bone bruise injury that kept him out for a majority of the year. We expected him to be ready to go, and the fact that we're even discussing this is slightly less than ideal.

    Source: Dane Moore on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Team USA has named Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell as captains for the FIBA World Cup.

    Congratulations to Mitchell, Walker and Smart on the tremendous honor of being named captains for the USA men's team. This won't have any impact on their upcoming fantasy seasons, but it is a major accomplishment nonetheless. Team USA has an exhibition rematch against Team Australia on Saturday.

    Source: Boston.com Celtics News on Twitter

  • Isaiah Canaan
    PG, International

    Isaiah Canaan has signed a contract with the Shangdong Heroes of the Chinese Basketball Association.

    The veteran journeyman played for the Suns, Wolves and Bucks last season, appearing in 30 games total. Canaan will be looking at a more prominent role and payday overseas as he attempts to build his value back up before trying to latch on to a team towards the end of the year. Canaan is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Zhang Duo on Twitter

  • Patty Mills
    PG, San Antonio Spurs

    Patty Mills put up 19 points, three assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in Thursday's international exhibition between Team Australia and Team USA.

    The Boomers figure to be one of the chief threats to the Americans in the World Cup and put forth a competitive effort in today's exhibition. Mills has typically been a steady, late-round fantasy option for deep-league play but that may change this season as the Spurs will need to mix in both Derrick White and Dejounte Murray in the backcourt. Chris Goulding tied for the team lead in points, also scoring 19 while hitting four 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench.

  • Myles Turner
    C, Indiana Pacers

    Myles Turner put up 15 points and 14 rebounds in Thursday's exhibition win over Team Australia, shooting 6-of-8 from the floor with a 3-pointer.

    Turner didn't get any blocks but we know that last year's league-leader can rack those up in a hurry, whether he's getting them in international competition or not. Look for another early-middle round season out of the talented big man. Kemba Walker led Team USA with 23 points in the 102-86 win.