The Chicago Bulls Interviewed Projected Top-3 Pick Brandon Miller
With the draft combine heating up in Chicago, teams across the league are doing their due diligence. And the Bulls are no exception.
According to multiple reports, including one from Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score, the Bulls did meet with projected top-3 pick Brandon Miller earlier this week. The Alabama forward led the Crimson Tide to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament behind 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Named the SEC Player of the Year, Miller has given G-League Ignite star Scoot Henderson competition as the No. 2 pick behind Victor Wembanyama in the upcoming draft.
Now, the fact Chicago met with Miller became far less notable less than 24 hours ago. Arturas Karnisovas and Co. officially lost their first-round selection to the Orlando Magic when it landed at No. 11 in Wednesday night’s draft lottery. So while it’s worth a mention any time a team speaks with one of the big-name prospects, Chicago was likely only doing it in case they kept their pick by landing inside the top 4.
When asked if the front office gave Miller any kind of indication that they would consider trading up to acquire him, he said no, per Westerlund.
I’m not sure why the Bulls would actually confirm whether they were open to moving up in the order upon speaking with him, so I’m not sure how much his answer matters. What we should put stock in, however, is the overall situation the organization is in.
All indications have suggested the Bulls will continue to prioritize winning in the short term. Karnisovas stated that a rebuild wasn’t on the team’s mind at his end-of-season press conference, and moving into a position to snatch Miller would almost certainly go against that stance. Not to mention, the Bulls aren’t drowning in assets, which would make the pursuit of a top-3 pick all the more difficult.
If rumblings start about the Bulls looking into trade-up options, then this will undoubtedly be a conversation we can revisit. For now, though, I’m chalking this up to the Bulls simply doing what they were supposed to ahead of lottery night.
Lastly, we should mention Miller’s issues off the court this season. Police testified that the 20-year-old supplied a firearm that was used by Darius Miles in the killing of a 23-year-old woman. However, the Tuscaloosa chief deputy district attorney has stated that they found nothing to charge Miller with thus far, and he has apparently cooperated fully with police. CBS Sports wrote a breakdown of the situation back at the end of March here.
Miller has called the whole situation a valuable learning experience when asked at the combine: