Draft Day should provoke excitement, nervousness, hope, and a tiny bit of gas (assumingly from the beer and buffalo wings). Those are four feelings that when combined normally make for a pretty memorable night! Not to mention, even though your team will most likely not walk away with a future MVP, you can talk yourself into the possibility for at least the next couple of weeks. This is truly one of basketball’s greatest pleasures.
Unfortunately, however, a handful of jerks out there will try to ruin our fun over the next few days. Every year around draft night and the start of free agency, we get those psychotic killers of joy who change their Twitter avatar and name to mimic Adrian Wojnarowski’s profile. Moments later, they will usually tweet something along the lines of: “BREAKING: The Chicago Bulls have traded Zach LaVine to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for James Wiseman, 2021 Nos. 7 and 14 pick, and a future first.”
Don’t fall for it. Check for the checkmark, not the white circle emoji. Then, block that person … unblock them … and block them again just for fun. Also, write down their handle and send it to me. I’m going to get Harvard to conduct a neurological study on these Twitter trolls so I can understand why. Just … why?
• Gar Forman, the Bulls’ former GM, is currently a special advisor for the New Orleans Pelicans, and you’ll never guess what that organization just did with their second-round pick:
Sources: The 76ers sent $2 million in cash to the Pelicans for the No. 53 pick. Begins to set the rate for purchasing a pick in tonight's NBA Draft. https://t.co/ZDBvGR1y4Q
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 29, 2021
• To be fair, we have absolutely zero clues whether or not Forman influenced this decision, but it is a pretty funny coincidence. After all, we all know this man has never seen a pile of cash he doesn’t like.
• I never really think it acceptable to dump an asset strictly for extra cash. While I recognize it is challenging to get a quality rotation player at pick No. 53, it’s not at all out of the question. The only way I think this can be justified is if that extra roster spot and cash actually help land the franchise a significant difference-maker in free agency. We’ll see.
• While we are on the topic of second-rounders, let me say (type?) this: I know tonight’s draft does not feel all that exciting. The lack of a first-round selection has probably made it hard to invest a lot of time in this year’s event. But do not get discouraged! Let’s remember that there is always the possibility of a trade-up. This front office has proven plenty aggressive before, so I don’t think we can rule out the possibility. Even if the organization does stay put, though, this is one of the deepest prospect pools we have seen in years. The likelihood of grabbing a rotation player at No. 38 feels higher than normal. I look at guys like Joel Ayayi, Josh Christopher, and Hebert Jones as players who could come in and contribute immediately next season, particularly on the defensive end.
• I talked more about those three prospects (and nine others) in my Second Round Spotlight series, which I’ll share below:
Second Round Spotlight: Four Experienced Names for the Bulls at Pick No. 38https://t.co/nl4GseDhwx
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 20, 2021
Second Round Spotlight: Four High-Upside Names to Consider at No. 38https://t.co/0Kd9pzyvfY
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 23, 2021
Second Round Spotlight: Four Players Who Could Fill a Need for the Bulls at No. 38https://t.co/DcJsLGZ01V
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 28, 2021
• FWIW: I wanted to look at the kind of value other teams have gotten at or around the No. 38th pick in recent drafts. Here is what I saw …
2020: Detroit – Saben Lee
2019: Chicago – Daniel Gafford
2018: Philly – Khyri Thomas (Gary Trent Jr. went 37th)
2017: Minnesota via Chicago – Jordan Bell (Semi Ojeleye went 37th)
2016: Milwaukee – Patrick McCaw (Malcolm Brogdon went 36th)
2015: Darrun Hillard (Richaun Holmes went 37th)
2014: Detroit – Spencer Dinwiddie (Jerami Grant went 38th)
• Does this ensure anything? No. But those are some solid names, and this is a deeper draft!
• Knowing Arturas Karnisovas has a knack for surprising us, as well as extensive knowledge of overseas hoops, I will also not be surprised if the front office goes the draft-and-stash route again. I tend to think he is a bit more eager to add a more immediately impactful talent with all the roster spots that could be open this summer, but you never know (he might want to keep that money and roster spot open for free agency). Anyway, Chicago Bulls dot com’s Sam Smith wrote about three European names we should have on our radar, so check that out.
• NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson linked Derrick Rose to the Bulls once again. I do not see this reunion happening, but the fact the front office is discussing a player like Rose could suggest they are that much more interested in working as a full-fledged cap space team this summer. Why? Well, I have to assume Rose would be a bench piece, which means they would look to sign him alongside a more suitable starting point guard option.
Bulls mailbag. Asked and answered.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 28, 2021