I need a pre-game underdog-head coach kind of speech to get me through today.
The 2019 NBA Draft is finally upon us, and the Bulls will sit with the No. 7 pick in the draft for the third-straight year. Shockingly, the team has avoided messing up the draft for the past two years, and while you think that’d be enough to trust the front office, boy, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I have no idea what to expect going in tonight – there could be more trades this year than any other – other than complete and utter madness on behalf of all NBA teams. I’m just going to try and sit back and enjoy the show…
Which will be way harder said than done.
- Lucky us! Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill put out one more Bulls Talk podcast this week, and the two were joined by The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry. The three guys touch on practically all the reasonable moves that could potentially be made tonight, so it’s worth a pre-draft listen.
- Interestingly enough, Mayberry mentions he believes all the talk about the Bulls moving up to No. 4 may be masked in smoke rather than legitimacy. He doesn’t sound as if he’s really buying the fact that the Bulls will move up to grab a point guard like Darius Garland, even though he realizes it’s said to be very much in play. Schanowski ends up taking a similar stance, which comes as a surprise since he had the Bulls trading up with the Cavs for the No. 5 pick in his latest mock draft. I suppose it’s possible, especially as the draft is now under 24-hours away, people are resulting back to the team staying at No. 7 with little being heard through the grapevine.
- All the speculation we have heard about a potential Bulls move up the draft board has basically been from “other teams,” and it’s quite possible the front office is not as invested as we might think (they also might not be as invested as we might think in, ya know, running a solid franchise). Considering the recent interest in guys like Jaxson Hayes and Sekou Doumbouya, we may actually have more evidence to feel as though the Bulls could trade down tonight. Regardless, the confidence level on what the Bulls will do tonight seems to be well toward zero, which means my confidence in them not screwing up is also well toward zero.
- The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson released his final draft preview, so go take a look at what he had to say. He mentions how the “trade Zach LaVine” idea that came up over the last week or so never actually made much sense. All things considered, this checks in as a very top-heavy and weak draft. Part of me believes that’s why we are seeing so many trade rumors circulating. Teams are anxious to not screw this up and at least come away with a salvageable player, and moving up a couple of spots could at least help teams feel a bit more confident they’ll land the right guy.
Final draft preview. There’s precedent for John Paxson trading future asset to get his guy. But if Bulls don’t move up, here’s some of what they’re debating: https://t.co/87Bg2tTw8R
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 20, 2019
- Chicago has shared information with the general public about everyone they’ve worked out, or so we thought. Yesterday, we got wind of the fact that Jaxson Hayes apparently worked out with the team and now Johnson is telling us this did, in fact, happen at the Advocate Center in Chicago. Hayes is now the second prospective draft pick the team has seen work out and not reported, of course, that we know of (the first was Garland). Part of me wants to believe the Bulls are pulling off a last-minute smokescreen to try and gather more interest from a team like the Atlanta Hawks. We’ve brought it up several times before, but the Hawks could be quite the interesting trade target with the 8th, 10th and 17th picks sitting in their lap. Again, Hayes is talented, but the team does have last year’s draft pick Wendell Carter Jr. slated to be the center of the future.
- Tonight, it’s possible we see some unprecedented trade activity in the first round, according to Jonathan Givony. I would consider this to be an extremely exciting outcome, the more draft movement the more fun NBA drama! Also, for a stronger level of certainty, Woj even commented on the below tweet saying ” I think that record is challenged today.” AHHHH!
We're already halfway to the average of 7.7 first round picks involved in draft-day trades, with four picks having changing hands. Still a long way to go to break the record of 13 in 2010. How many first rounders do you think we end up seeing changing hands tomorrow? pic.twitter.com/aAWz8wlE2r
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 20, 2019
- Anyway, Luis wrote more about the trade craziness we could see going down tonight, and he also helped hone in our expectations.
- Y’all kidding me with this!? No LaVine or Markkanen… Space Jam 2 is missing out.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 20, 2019
- The Bulls did a poll mapping out who fans would like for them to do pick the No. 7 pick in the draft. Part of me feels like GarPax was just looking for answers. But the results are out and Coby White ended up taking the cake with shooting guard Jarrett Culver falling into second place. You can read about that a bunch more in this piece by NBA.com Bulls reporter Sam Smith.
- I don’t care what you say, this is funny…
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 19, 2019