An Annoying Reminder: The Bulls Are Also Thin on Second Round Picks!
With the NFL Draft later this week, I got in my feelings about the looming, draft-less summer for the Chicago Bulls.
As of now, the most likely outcome is the organization will not hear its name called on June 22 when the 2023 NBA Draft commences. The Bulls’ 2023 first-round selection is in a prime position to head over to the Orlando Magic, as Arturas Karnisovas included it in a package for Nikola Vucevic back in 2021.
Now, to be clear, there is still a slight chance the Bulls end up keeping that pick with some lottery luck. That chance might be slim – like, less than a 9 percent chance slim – but it’s not entirely out of the question. For more on all of that, though, check out our post here.
Regardless, the fact of the matter is that it’s far more likely the Bulls head into draft night without any pick in their back pocket. And, yes, this includes a second-round pick. While I know many don’t waste their time thinking about second-round talent, let me remind you that Ayo Dosunmu fell into the Bulls’ lap with the No. 38 pick. There is always some value in this area of the draft board. And, if that value isn’t adding a player, it can be at least including that pick as a tradable asset.
Indeed, while first-round draft capital is obviously the more important tool, second-rounders still hold value. We just watched the Bucks acquire Jae Crowder at the deadline for a deal that included three seconds. On top of that, the Hawks added Saddiq Bey for their own three picks, two of the Raptors’ seconds were tied to a first in the trade for Poeltl, and two seconds with Kendrick Nunn landed the Lakers Rui Hachimura. Second-rounders can just provide a little more flexibility when it comes to getting a deal done, which is why it’s even more frustrating that the Bulls don’t have one during this crucial offseason.
So … why don’t the Bulls have one? The Bulls sent their original 2023 pick to the Washington Wizards in their trade for Otto Porter in 2019. Now, they did go on to acquire a second for this summer in the three-team trade with the Cavaliers and Trail Blazers. This was the same deal that saw Lauri Markkanen head to Cleveland and Derrick Jones Jr. head to Chicago along with a lottery-protected first-rounder. The second-round pick the Bulls received originally belonged to the Denver Nuggets, but this pick will now have to be turned over to the NBA due to the Lonzo Ball tampering investigation. The league ruled the Bulls would have to forfeit their next available second-rounder in 2022.
Looking ahead, unless acquired via trade, the Bulls will also not have second-round picks in 2024 or 2025. They dealt next year’s selection to the Pelicans as part of the Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade, while the 2025 pick went to San Antonio along with a 2025 first-rounder in the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade.
As far as I can tell, the Bulls will have control of all their second-round picks after 2025, so that’s at least something. You also can trade these picks in subsequent years, whereas the NBA forbids teams from dealing with future firsts in back-to-back seasons. Still, the Bulls’ next available second isn’t until 2026, which only further underscores how greatly this new front office has drained the Bulls’ asset pool.