It's Time for the Bulls New Front Office to Show What They're Made Of (And Other Bulls Bullets)

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It’s Time for the Bulls New Front Office to Show What They’re Made Of (And Other Bulls Bullets)

Chicago Bulls

I’d be lying to you if I said an ounce of dread did not sink in when Mark Tatum unveiled the 8th-overall pick on Tuesday night. When the words “Orlando Magic From the Chicago Bulls” came across my television screen, it felt like a swing and miss that spun my body in a circle and dropped me to my knees. Make contact and the Chicago Bulls’ future would be an inch from the sun.

A top-4 pick would not only land an immediately impactful talent in a draft expected to be top-heavy with superstars, but it would have provided a welcomed security blanket. Draft a Cunningham or Suggs or Mobley or Green, and the Bulls would at least have a franchise centerpiece if things turned south in 2021-22. Not to mention, the option to package the pick for a third star could have always come to fruition.

•   Fortunately, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley did not strike out. They may have missed on the home run shot, but they at least found themselves on base with their move made on March 25th. Okay, the lazy baseball analogy is over, I promise. When the organization traded for Nikola Vucevic, they assumed the draft pick was gone. So the only thing that really happened in last night’s lottery was that the organization was not gifted an awesome advantage. Instead, the front office will now proceed as expected. The job is on Karnisovas and Eversley (not the ping pong balls) to step up to the plate (I crossed my fingers hehe) and create their own luck, which is something a good front office should be able to do, right?

•   I do worry about some of the long-term implications of this missed opportunity. Again, we don’t exactly know what will come of the LaVooch era, nor do we know exactly what LaVine’s future holds after his contract expires next offseason. All we do know is the Bulls want to win in the short term, and they will now have to put themselves in a position to do that without the advantage of a first-round selection. The good news, however, is that a No. 8 pick probably does not influence the level of competitiveness this franchise wants to experience as soon as next season. Bulls fans know better than anyone how much of a crapshoot that mid-lottery selection can be, and the time is now to build something truly competitive around an elite scorer who is just entering his prime.

•   In other words, what stinks is the Bulls missed out on a loaded top-4 group. What stinks a lot less is losing the No. 8-pick in exchange for someone who should make this team the best they have been in nearly half a decade.

•   Also, if it makes you feel any better, Magic fans don’t appear to be celebrating. The team entered full rebuild mode, and the process could take even longer now that their original pick fell outside the top-4.

•   Trades could very well play a strong role in how the Bulls reinvent their roster this summer. After all, we have already gotten an inkling that the entire league will be rather trade-happy in the coming months. What this means is we can not rule out the possibility of the Bulls adding draft compensation. In other words, who is to say the team will not find themselves back in the first round by July 29th? I do think the focus will be on adding more experienced talent, but we all know Karnisovas has not been afraid to go after names he likes.

•   To be clear, trading into the lottery would be highly unlikely. A team like Golden State could definitely look to package their picks for a veteran asset, but the Bulls don’t have much to offer that would be worth that return. I could also envision the Pacers or Hornets open to moving their picks as they look to get into the playoff picture next season. But, again, the Bulls don’t provide the intrigue. A more likely situation would be to snatch a rookie from one of the already-contending teams in the mid-to-late 20s who might be interested in a deal centered around a reliable vet like Thaddeus Young.

•   A trade that will not happen: Zach LaVine for Ben Simmons. NBA Twitter really needs to stop pitching this idea, and Mark describes at least part of the reason why it’s so absurd:

•   This is a whole mood.

•   If you missed last night’s Game 2 between the Suns and Clippers, you’re lame (sorry not sorry). The end of that game was absolute chaos. Both teams hit big shot after big shot in between some absurdly long reviews by the referees. Then, it all came to a head when Paul George missed two free throws to put the Phoenix Suns in a position to pull off a last-second shot that will go down in playoff history. LOOK AT THIS THING OF BEAUTY!

•   Who is this Cameron Payne guy!? Wish the Bulls had someone like that!

•   In all seriousness, I have no other choice but to respect the hell out of Payne. He has completely reinvented his career and it is truly one of the better stories in the NBA this season. I mean, 29 points for the former tank commander in a Western Conference Finals game with no Chris Paul!? Suns fans will remember that performance for a long time.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.