MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the middle of June, but a major trade for the Minnesota Timberwolves has fans thinking about basketball season.
The Wolves made arguably the biggest trade in franchise history on Thursday night, gaining three-time NBA all-star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls.
The trade involved swapping draft picks, along with fan favorite Zach LaVine and point guard Kris Dunn going to Chicago.
Annie Eversman has been an account manager for the Wolves for five and a half years. She says the ticket sales staff stayed late Thursday night and came back in early Friday morning after the news about Butler — a trade that’s a slam dunk in every way.
Phones have been ringing off the hook, and the Inside Sales room looks like a younger version of Wall Street.
“Jimmy Butler is a game changer,” Eversman said. “You can tell that Coach [Tim Thibodeau] is picking guys to win now and today and get us to the playoffs.”
Speaking of Coach Thibodeau, he delivered pizzas to the sales team on Friday.
“To go out and get an all-NBA talent entering the prime of his career is unprecedented in many ways,” said chief revenue officer Ryan Tanke.
And Butler is well-known among basketball fans nationwide. He even appeared in the movie “Office Christmas Party” last year.
He will join Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to form a new version of “The Big 3,” and hopefully end a 13-year playoff drought.
“Frankly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Tanke said. “So from a demand and excitement standpoint, the Timberwolves are in uncharted waters right now with this one.”
The sales team had an 80-percent season ticket renewal rate before Thursday night.
That number is skyrocketing, though they do have plenty of tickets left.