Pros and Cons of a Draft Night Move, The Best of The Paw, Hornets' HC Pivot, and Other Bulls Bullets

Social Navigation

Pros and Cons of a Draft Night Move, The Best of The Paw, Hornets’ HC Pivot, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

In 2020, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley would have been immediately on the hot seat if they chose not to use the No. 4 pick in the draft. After years of tanking, it was the highest selection the lottery gods had to offer, and the talent left on the board remained plenty intriguing.

In 2021, the No. 38th pick felt pretty inconsequential. While it turned out to be anything but with the addition of Ayo Dosunmu, no one could have seen the organization finding that much value in the second round. They could have tried to trade the pick, but the value of a mid-second-rounder is never that high. Typically, you just take a player and knock on wood.

So both drafts may have been vastly different in terms of when the Bulls were on the clock, but both offered a situation where it felt pretty clear what the team’s intentions were heading into the night. Pick a player at No. 4 and pick a player at No. 38. There just weren’t many other good options.

We can’t say the same about the 2022 NBA Draft.

  • I know more about extraterrestrial life than I do what the Chicago Bulls have planned on Thursday (and my knowledge of aliens comes strictly from E.T. and Lilo and Stitch). On one hand, I expect two strong talent evaluators in Karnisovas and Eversley to simply select the best player available with the No. 18 pick. On the other hand, we’re talking about two front-office leaders who have been arguably the most mysterious in the NBA since they took over the Bulls in 2020.
  • Whether it be trading two first-rounders for Nikola Vucevic or one for DeMar DeRozan, the front office has shown they are not afraid to move draft capital for known commodities. And this feels especially noteworthy after a season where the team cracked the playoffs for the first time since 2017. The Chicago Bulls are in win-now mode. Not only might they not have the time to humor another high-upside youngster, but they don’t have many other assets to fill the obvious holes on their roster. Trading No. 18 could prove pivotal in finding a veteran frontcourt presence to bolster rim protection or a much more reliable wing to knock down 3s.
  • Yet, I say all of that while recognizing the pros that come with taking a mid-first-round talent. The franchise could find itself with another hidden gem who could simultaneously contribute right away and show future promise (like Dosunmu). They would also have the benefit of adding another rookie contract to the payroll, which feels enticing with limited financial flexibility moving forward (particularly with a new contract likely headed to Zach LaVine).
  • Of course, there is also a world where the Bulls are so infatuated by the talent in this draft class that they either trade up or down. What if they see the big man of the future in Mark Williams or Jalen Duren or Jeremy Sochan? Would they package White with No. 18 in hopes of entering the late lottery? What if they see a couple of sleepers in the 20s? Could Karnisovas ask old friends in the Denver front office for No. 21 and No. 30? I think it could all be on the table right now, which is about as fun as it is nerve-wracking.
  • FWIW: NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson does believe the team will keep the No. 18 pick, which could tell us something:
  • The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie is one of the best in the game when it comes to draft research. He published his latest guide on all the prospects, so if you’re craving more draft talk, I highly recommend it:
  • I can’t wait for this video to be four times as long next season!
  • I know it can be hard in real-time to see the flashes from Patrick Williams, so I highly encourage everyone to watch this video. Whether it be his chase-down block on Herro, his posterization of Isaiah Hartenstein, his crazy up-and-under move at the rim on the Timberwolves, or his coast-to-coast layup after jumping the passing lane on the Raptors, the two-way potential is bewitching. If he can just find a way to play with more consistent aggression (which he hopes to do), the Bulls are looking at a seriously special talent.
  • Alex Caruso re-tweeted this, so you know he’s ready.
  • I sure wouldn’t love walking into a job interview knowing I was the second choice. But, hey, the Hornets can still do a lot worse than D’Antoni. I don’t think he’ll provide the player development they were initially looking for, however, he should run one heck of a fun offense with LaMelo Ball.
  • Folks, I’ve finally caved. If my typed words on basketball weren’t enough, I’ll be starting up a podcast to talk all things Bulls and NBA. Subscribe through the links below, if you’re interested! The first episode will come your way later this week.
  • Horrible news. RIP to a great Big Ten player.
  • Cubs made a move this morning:
  • Training camp is around the corner:

Author: Elias Schuster

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