From now until draft night (November 18th), there will be no lack of rumors. The Bulls sit comfortably in the No. 4 spot, which means their name could not only be attached to several high-profile draft prospects, but also possible trades. Our job is to try and sift through what’s real and what’s a smokescreen. Not an easy gig.
The most recent news attaches the Bulls to two widely talked about prospects. According to Bleacher Reports Jonathan Wasserman, Chicago is expected to snatch Israeli basketball sensation Deni Avdija with the No. 4 pick. However, if Avdija is no longer on the board, opposing teams around the league believe Chicago has serious interest in Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton.
The Bulls figure stay put at No. 4 if they believe Deni Avdija will be there. Rival teams have told Bleacher Report they think Chicago could be interested in Tyrese Ha[l]iburton. But Avdija sounds equally valued around the league. And his two-way versatility at the forward spots and success in Israel and Euroleague could give him the edge.
Considering many mock drafts have tied Avdija to the Bulls already, I can’t say this is shocking. Many around the league perceived Avdija to be one of the most intriguing all-around assets in the draft, and he feels like an appropriate selection from the Bulls position. Not to mention, his draft stock appears to be on the rise. The Golden State Warriors – who possess the No. 2-overall pick – reportedly worked the forward out in Atlanta on Thursday, walking away nothing short of impressed. Golden State’s true motive is unclear, as is whether or not they would truly consider him at No. 2, but their positive remarks are noteworthy.
Speaking of noteworthy comments, it’s very interesting that opposing teams believe the Bulls have their eye on Haliburton. The point guard is another solid all-around talent who arguably has one of the highest basketball IQ’s in the draft. Teams around the league may recognize the Bulls clear need for a floor general, and thus assume that Haliburton is on the Bulls radar.
What’s also interesting about this connection is that Haliburton isn’t exactly projected to go as high as No. 4. While the draft hierarchy is entirely up in the air, and it’s possible the Bulls take Haliburton at No. 4, there is reason to believe he would be available lower down the draft board. Many mock drafts have Haliburton in the 6-9 range, so does that means rival teams believe the Bulls could trade down to grab some additional assets in their pursuit of Haliburton? Not a bad idea, in my opinion.
Again, it’s hard to know what to believe when it comes to draft linkage. A lot can change over the next several weeks, so we’ll have to keep an eye on whether the Bulls ties to either of these two players tightens. I will say this, though: I don’t think it’s a mistake that Avdija and Haliburton play at wing and point guard, respectively – two positions of need. Plus, both have been praised for their facilitating abilities, which we all know the Bulls could use.