Is it draft night yet? ‘
We are five days out from the Chicago Bulls front office making their first big roster decision of the new era. Yippie! Thanks to the ongoing pandemic that pushed the entire NBA calendar back, we have followed this draft story arc for a hella long time. And while I love keeping up with the ever-changing draft rumors, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sick of all the confusion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited this front office is savvy enough to keep their plans under wraps, but I’m more than ready for a decision to be made.
Let’s wrap this thing up.
• Can you guess what the latest mock drafts told us about the Bulls draft night plans!? That’s right, nothing! People had Deni Avdija, LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, Obi Toppin, and Tyrese Halliburton all picked to go to Chicago at No. 4. In other words, there continues to be zero consensus on what this organization plans to do, as even some of the most connected local reporters are scratching their heads. NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson said on 670 The Score’s Mully & Haugh show that he has “no idea” what direction the Bulls will go on November 18th. He seems to remain convinced that the organization will add to the point guard position this offseason, but whether that comes on draft night or in free agency is yet to be determined.
• While Johnson did not add much clarity on a possible selection, he did give us a reason to question a popular draft connection. The Bulls have been linked to Deni Avdija for months, but Johnson said he has not been able to find much intel on that idea. Could he be Chicago’s smokescreen? I wouldn’t necessarily be shocked. Hurt? Probably (FYI for the 100th time: I love Avdija).
• The question then becomes, who has Avdija been a smokescreen for? Some have speculated in recent weeks that the Bulls could be interested in LaMelo Ball. Considering the team’s clear need for a facilitator, I get the rumors, but I still do not see this as a likely outcome. All signs point to Ball going in the top-3 right now, and ESPN reported on Thursday that Ball has now worked out for each of the teams in the top-3 pick (as well as the Pistons, who hold the No. 7 pick).
Projected No. 1 pick LaMelo Ball conducted an individual workout today in front of head coaches and executives for the Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons, sources told ESPN. News story: https://t.co/AYgM0O29qB
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 13, 2020
• We all know how unpredictable the draft can be. There is still a world where Ball tumbles down the draft board and his father – LaVar– goes on First Take the next morning to claim his son is the deity of basketball. If Ball does, in fact, fall into the Bulls lap at No. 4, I have little doubt they will get a lot of phone calls from teams further down the board. The Knicks and Pistons both reportedly have interest, and there is a good chance a couple of other teams could throw their name into the hat. I’m not quite sure exactly what kind of trade Arturas Karnisovas would deem reasonable enough to swap picks, but I wouldn’t hate to find out.
• Reminder: The Bulls can use the MLE and Biannual exception to sign free agents this offseason.
All exceptions remain the same as 2019-20
Midlevel: $9,258,000 (exceeding $5.7M triggers hard cap)
Biannual: $3,623,00 (triggers hard cap)
Hard cap= $138,928,000
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 12, 2020
• Comparing this offseason to the next offseason is like comparing Phil Jackson to Tim Floyd. In 2021, there is an incredibly talented group of players hitting the free-agent market, and the Bulls are expected to be in a good position to snag a big name. How good? The Athletic gave us an early look at next season’s salary cap projections for each team, and Danny Leroux put the Bulls in the “less than the max slot” category. While this is true at this moment, it should not be that hard to create some extra space if the Bulls do come onto a superstar’s radar. I mean, there is already a very real chance some of the Bulls current talented is traded over the next year or so, especially guys like Thaddeus Young or Tomas Satoransky.
• The new City Edition jerseys have grown on me, but I’m still not going to be purchasing one anytime soon.
Well, It’s Official: Those Were the Bulls New City Edition Jerseys … Thoughts?https://t.co/tt3Nw6kQPV
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) November 13, 2020
• Are the Rockets about to swap out superstars again?
According to @ScoopB, there have been preliminary trade talks between the Rockets/Clippers about a huge trade;
Rockets – Paul George
Clippers – Russell Westbrook, Robert Covington, 2023 First-Round Pick pic.twitter.com/CfRsvwHYPI
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 13, 2020