We are under the two-hour mark, people!
The NBA Draft will appear upon our TVs here shortly, and hopefully, by the end of it, your screen doesn’t have a huge hole in it (you know, because it was “accidentally” punched or whatever you choose to tell your significant other).
With all the recent talk about the Bulls involvement with the No. 4 pick, I wouldn’t blame you if you forgot that they’re actually back at No.7 tonight. Yes, I’m being a little facetious, but it certainly feels like every discussion about the Bulls draft night plans – at least, lately – has revolved around trading with the Pelicans for the No. 4 pick.
So, let’s remember… *grabs bullhorn* THE BULLS CAN TRADE THE OTHER WAY TOO!
Especially,if things play out the way Jonathan Givony guessed earlier today. In his latest mock just hours before the draft, Givony believes the top-three will go as expected (Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett), but then envisions arguably the Bulls’ biggest three remaining targets – Jarrett Culver (No. 4, Pelicans), Darius Garland (No. 5, Cavaliers), and Coby White (No. 6, Suns) – all coming off the board before they get to pick.
I really don’t mind waiting to see if one of the better point guards falls to No. 7, nor choosing the best player available if there is no (quality) point guard there for the taking (Givony believes that player will be De’Andre Hunter). But I don’t want the Bulls’ front office to forget that trading down *could* end up being the best path forward, depending on who else is left.
I first brought this into the discussion three weeks ago when I wrote about what the Bulls should do if either Coby White or Darius Garland wasn’t available:
If the Bulls could trade down to a pick within the No. 9-14 range, things could be pretty interesting. In this case, considering how forward-heavy this draft is, you would probably go with drafting that position or a center. Names like Jaxson Hayes or Rui Hachimura come to mind if you’re near the higher end of this theoretical spectrum. PJ Washington and Nassir Little will also be projected to go toward the tail-end of the lottery.
And, hey: The Bulls have invested recent interest in both Hayes and Little. And, honestly, this could be a sign the team is thinking about trading down, as both project to fall a couple of spots below No. 7.
To that end – as we brought up last time – the Hawks could be seen as a potential suitor for that pick – since then, the team even added the No. 17 overall pick from a trade they made with the Brooklyn Nets. If the Bulls could slip into a position where they grab two of those picks (preferably No. 8 and No. 10) by allowing the Hawks to move up to No. 7, the Bulls are now in a situation to land two players that might blossom rather than one.
As the draft moves closer, the whole thing feels more and more like a crapshoot, so at least trying to win in numbers wouldn’t be too bad of an idea. Just really think about it, the names hanging out a couple of picks down from the Bulls aren’t all that bad, and the team could obviously use additional depth.
Plus, if you grab more names in this draft for your bench, you could save some money that you would normally be paying more expensive free agent targets. Then, you can use that saved money to try and target a free agent point guard during the offseason.
At the end of the day, I’m not saying this is the all-out RIGHT move, but I’m saying it’s definitely not a bad one. Anyway, the clock is ticking, time will only tell.
Michael Cerami contributed to this post.