Thursday, June 20th cannot come soon enough.
The 2019 NBA Draft figures to be an especially important one for the Chicago Bulls, as they continue a rebuild that began (arguably too late) roughly two years ago. And although they did what they could to ensure a top pick in this year’s draft, the ping pong balls did not fall in their favor on May 14th, and they got saddled with the 7th pick for the third consecutive season.
So with that date and pick in mind, let’s check in on some of the latest news and rumors, regarding the Bulls options heading into the 73rd NBA Draft.
- As Sean Highkin points out in a really great piece at Bleacher Report, the Bulls have done well with the seventh pick in each of the last two seasons (Lauri Markkanen and Wendall Carter Jr.), but are at a bit of an impasse this year. Without one of the top-two picks, without significant free agent dollars/available cap space, and without any obvious trade chips to compete in that market, this current roster lacks the sort of star power that can’t typically be found at No. 7 (yes, yes, I know: Steph Curry).
- So while the Bulls could end up with another quality player at No. 7, they’re still going to need the star-power that Derrick Rose brought, for one example, when he was aded to a team with an existing foundation of Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, and Ben Gordon. I know that’s a fairly obvious sentiment, but I thought that was a good article and really put a lot into context heading into the draft.
- Fox Sports Radio analyst Jason McIntyre recently suggested that both the Bulls (7th pick) and Suns (6th pick) have discussed trading their upcoming first-rounder to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball. That isn’t the first time we heard of the Bulls interest in Ball and both the Bulls and Suns are looking for point guard help, HOWEVER, this is already being *partially* squashed elsewhere:
There is NO truth to this – Suns not offering #6 for Lonzo https://t.co/vCjaOobkFL
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 2, 2019
- To be sure, Gambadoro (an Arizona Sports Radio Talk Show Host) appears to be talking only of the Suns motivations, not the Bulls, so perhaps it’s still something to keep in mind. I have a feeling this wouldn’t be a very popular move around Chicago, but if the remaining options at No. 7 are looking weak, who knows? Maybe there is something to be done – Ball or otherwise.
- Speaking of draft trades, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony seems to believe that there will be more first-round picks available in trade this year than in the past, though he doesn’t specifically mention the Bulls. Instead, he discusses the possibility that the Atlanta Hawks might package their two top-10 picks to go as high as No. 3 (Knicks). And says that the Lakers and Suns have both been active in trade talks, too (though not necessarily with each other). The Cavs have also reportedly been active in trade talks, including both first and second-round picks.
- For what it’s worth, ESPN current ranks Cam Reddish ahead of Coby White in their latest mock draft/draft rankings, with Reddish settling in at No. 7, one spot ahead of White. According to ESPN, Reddish might have the higher, overall/long-term upside and that might be tough for the Bulls to ignore. And at this point – absent a surprise elsewhere – it sure feels like the Bulls are going to end up with one of those two.
- But those two are far from the only options for Chicago. Sam Smith did his own mock draft at NBA.com, and with Coby White coming off the board one spot before the Bulls pick, he sends Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech) to the Bulls: “Culver doesn’t project as a starter for the Bulls, at least not yet. Though he might provide flexibility if the Bulls some day become daring and consider a trade involving Zach LaVine.”
- Smith has Reddish falling to the Hawks immediately after the Bulls pick Culver, but says that Reddish “could go as high as No. 4” or as low as No. 8. So it’s not like he’s pushing him entirely off the Bulls radar.
- And finally, be sure to check out the big board at The Ringer, which has rankings, mocks, rumors, stats, strengths, weaknesses and everything else you could want all in one place. Like so many boards before it, The Ringer has Coby White going to the Bulls at No. 7 and seems to be higher on him than most. Would you be happy if that’s how things played out?
- Does the possibility of landing Patrick Beverley change anything for you?
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 4, 2019