Bulls rebuild begins as team introduces Dunn, LaVine and Markkanen

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CHICAGO - As the three men walked their way across the Advocate Center court, they were the symbol of the changing of philosophy of Chicago's NBA basketball team.

Now, a year after proclaiming their hope to get younger and more athletic, the Bulls have finally started a rebuilding process.

"We've changed our direction," said Bulls executive Vice President John Paxson as he introduced Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and first round draft pick Lauri Markkanen to the media on Tuesday. "We're not satisfied being middle of the pack."

That's why Paxson finally pulled off a franchise-defining deal on Thursday, sending three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.

In exchange, the Bulls got the three men that walked across the court and up to the podium with Paxson and general manager Gar Forman on Tuesday.

They represent the team's first true youth movement since the early 2000s, when the team took on the monumental task of moving on from the Michael Jordan era.

Now they do so with Dunn, a second-year guard whom the Bulls nealy traded Butler to acquire a year ago. He had a tough rookie year in which he saw the floor just over 17 minutes a game and average 3.8 points, but again it was just Dunn's first year.

LaVine, a two-time NBA Slam Dunk champion who has impressed with his aerial exploits in his first three years in the NBA, was coming into his own averaging 18.9 points a game through the first three months of the season.

But a torn ACL in his left knee ended his season and will likely keep him off the floor to start his first with the Bulls.

Acquired as the last piece of the Butler trade - the seventh pick in this year's draft - Markkanen comes to Chicago after one successful season at Arizona.

The native of Finland average 15.6 points and 7.2 rebound a contest for the Wildcats. He becomes the latest young project for the Bulls as they start a new era of the franchise that walked in the building on Tuesday.