Bulls draft day random thoughts

The Chicago Bulls have been the center of plenty of trade rumors this draft, and my guess is that the group of fans demanding action will likely end up disappointed in the end. Chicago is, theoretically, shopping Luol Deng and involved in a few trade scenarios.

However, let's note for the record that Luol Deng has been shopped at least four or five different seasons if you believe the rumor mill, and yet he remains. The problem [or perhaps the non-problem depending on your perspective] is that the Bulls aren't willing to trade Deng for peanuts and no one wants to offer more than peanuts.

I expect that to be the case again this season. He's had his name bandied about in rumors for the #1 and #3 picks in the draft, and despite the lack of star studded talent in the draft, Chicago would be nuts not to jump on either offer if it's on the table. That said, I'd be shocked if either offer is on the table unless an extension could be worked out as part of a trade, and there's not enough time for that to happen.

The rumors about the Bulls trading for Thomas Robinson make little sense to me unless they're part of a much larger package. I can't imagine that the Bulls want to add his 3.5 million dollars in salary, and it's hard to imagine the scenario involving a third team not sending Chicago back a similar salary package because if that team could take Robinson they'd trade for him directly.

Maybe this fits as part of the Wizards deal for the 3rd pick in the draft, that's about the only scenario that makes sense to me, but speaking of that scenario, the Bulls still take on considerable extra salary, and I wonder if they're really open to doing it. The salary slot for the 3rd pick is nearly 4.5 million, which means around 10 million in extra payout for Chicago this season, not to mention that Okafor makes a couple hundred k more than Deng.

Of course, I don't see us getting past the point where Washington just doesn't want to do this deal anyway.

When thinking about who the Bulls might select with the #20 pick, the only way this guy plays is if he takes on the fourth big man role. I know many people feel the Bulls have a hole on the perimeter, but they really don't. Five of our eight players under contract are wing guys (Rose, Hinrich, Teague, Butler, Deng) and three of those five should be very high minute players.

There's probably room for one more guy back there, but it's not necessarily a pressing need next season, and unless a rookie came in and played REALLY well, I don't think they'd find an immediate spot in the rotation. The Bulls will likely find someone who's simply a shooter at the vet minimum to come in and play 5-10 minutes a night purely as a floor spacer.

I see a much greater opportunity for someone to come in as the fourth big man than someone to come in as the sixth perimeter player. Especially since big men at the vet minimum typically promise to suck a lot more than perimeter players at the vet minimum. I think it's easier to find a vet minimum perimeter guy who can simply shoot or defend (but not both) than it is to find a big man at the vet minimum who can do anything other than be tall and foul.

However, one nice thing about this draft is that even if the talent level seems fairly low, the fits seem pretty good. There are a ton of seven footers who might be available around the Bulls pick who look like hustle players that could block some shots and play some defense. There are also quite a few shooting guards with holes in their games but who can shoot the rock.

It feels like Chicago should be able to find a player that fits their niche this year in the draft. Also worth noting, the Bulls have been unbelievably awesome in the draft. I know doubters of the front office won't want to admit this, but if you compare the Bulls draft record under the Forman/Paxson regime, it crushes pretty much everyone else in the league.

The one thing I'll note about that is director of college scouting Matt Lloyd left the organization last season to take a position with the Magic, and I'd have to imagine that he was fairly instrumental in their draft analysis. However, the Bulls clearly have an excellent scouting department and have done a great job of finding value with late picks.

I can't say I have enough draft knowledge to speculate on whom I'd want the Bulls to take, but I can say that I have enough faith in the Bulls drafting to be quite happy with whatever they end up doing and figuring it will work out.

Side note, I'm hosting an NBA draft gathering at my house tonight, if you're interested in going, feel free to shoot me your email address over twitter, and I'll email you back the relevant information [the party is out in Schaumburg, but I'm happy to pick people up/drop off at the metra station if you live downtown].

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  • The Bulls need to make one of these rumored trades involving Deng happen. They really nedd to work with Portland to see who else besides the "CORE" of Rose Noah and Butler tbey can send to them. Something needs to be done cause the Bulls offense is just too stale to be a serious title contender.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    If they're packaging somebody else with Deng (in a 3-way, POR has Batum), they would STILL need to move someone else to make sure we take in less salary than we are giving out.

  • hopefully they can exorcise the demon of tyrus thomas and get LA but its going to be tough. I would pass on Pau Gasol or whatever aged star for 2014 and make another attempt at LA next summer.

    As for tonight, I'm thinking they go for an international draft and stash, probably targeting rudy gobert so they don't have to pay more luxury tax but if they do pick, I'm thinking their number one target is Mason Plumlee and not Dieng. Probably injury concerns have soured the Bulls on Dieng some. I don't think the Bulls will pick a guard/wing tonight since there are some decent options in free agency that can shoot the 3ball. Unfortunately because the Bulls screwed up the Asik situation, they are pretty much forced to pick a backup center since free agency centers usually suck.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    We don't exactly have max cap space (I think $12mil, and that's if we amnesty Boozer) in 2014.

    But if we do, Melo might be available.Amare will most likely opt in and if Melo doesn't see any improvements, could bounce.

    I think he probably ends up in LAL but if we can free up space, our better team could get him.

  • "Also, worth noting, The Bulls have been unbelievably awesome in the draft." Doug Thonus.

    Doug, a great site and a fan friend please keep up the good work. Yet I again have to disagree with this statement he always clings to about Paxson and his G.M./V/P oversight of the draft. Minus the luck out of the century as in 1.9% that is Derrick Rose what all-star offensive stud or even near so have the Bulls drafted in John Paxson's entire tenure with the Bulls? And in the end THAT IS his job. Period. Or if not then trading collected assets for Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton and said contender/championship.

    There's no doubt the Bulls have found value in the latter first and second round. Congrats. However, Asik who is a late game foul/turnover waiting to happen, yet also a major trading chip was given away for nothing. Taj? A nice player yet a skinny injury prone, foul prone guy who again was overvalued and over paid rather then packaged as other teams do with young talents for an offensive upgrade.

    I would argue the over valuing and failure to cash in assets for offensive talent upgrades to a great degree nullifies Gar/Pax's late round acumen. Jimmy Butler, again a nice player, but he will likely never be a legit 17ppg and up scorer. Yet right now he could be part of a package for possibly a legit potent scorer we need. Yet Gar/Pax and many clingy unrealistic homer fans will hold on to him at all costs and in the requisite eventual overpay.

    Butler is only an example. I'm not saying I want to trade Jimmy Butler necessarily or that he isn't going to be a player you want to keep, but overall the Bulls FO is in no way regarded around NBA circles as elite. Not hardly. Until they draft a legit scoring stud like the one they now seek in fantasyland trades like LaMarcus Aldridge who they gave away for honestly a real jerk in Tyrus Thomas, until that changes, they are hardly the NBA's best.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I do think GarPax's drafting prowess has been overrated because like you said, offensive players (harder to evaluate) aren't drafted.

    They draft 'safe' guys. Guys who are disciplined, play defense, hustle, etc. they've hit on those (Asik, Taj, Jimmy), but that's a much easier selection when you luck out on a franchise player in Rose.

  • As others have correctly pointed out, including corporate shill and resident story suppressor K.C. Johnson(sorry K.C.), there will be no fantasyland draft day trades or major trade-ups. If so, a few hundred or more portable defibrillators will be needed for shocked fool me once, fool me for the 100th time jilted Bulls fans.

    Anyhow, at No. 20 then... pre-draft accurate take evaluators IMO(TV media wise anyway in David Aldridge and Co.'s NBATV crew - which predicted Damian Lillard was absolutely a lock for NBA offensive stud aka success) absolutely luv Gorgui Dieng. I didn't hear one peep about knee injuries. Also, they liked C.J. McCollum, Shane Larkin, Isaiah Canaan who they had at No. 15(!) on their board, Tim Hardaway, and Jamaal Franklin.

    Of course these guys are not mistake proof, but as a final confirmation I like their inside NBA combined acumen. If the Bulls end up with Larkin, Dieng, or Canaan I will very pleased. Of course two undersized guards seem an unlikely pick. So please let the Bulls take Dieng(or if not then Hardaway). Good luck fellow Bulls fans slash offensive entertainment deprived saps.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    You fail to recognize the "shrewdness" of GarPax in holding out for the great Viktor Khryapa's inclusion in the LaMarcus Aldridge/Tyrus Thomas trade. LOL

    I agree 100% with your assessment of GarPax. So why are they still in the Bulls' front office?

    Because GarPax are YesMen. They do as they're told and they comply with Rein$dorf's self-imposed financial restraints without complaining or demanding more be done basketball-wise. That is why Rein$dorf keeps them in the front office. .Would any top-level GM willing work for and submit to Rein$dorf's control. Not Likely...

  • In reply to Edward:

    If I was a GM I'd love to work for the Bulls. JR seems to be very loyal to the GMs he employs. Rather work for the Bulls and get paid for a decade than risk getting fired elsewhere after a couple of years.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Well, you would certainly fit the profile of a low-level, not-in-demand candidate that Rein$dorf prefers.

  • In reply to Edward:

    LOL, you don't think money is the primary factor for GMs? What else is someone whose skills involve looking at people throw a ball through a hoop going to do that pays as well as a GM job?

  • That's really nice of you to invite us over for your draft party. If I didn't live in San Diego, I'd join you guys and talk draft and the Bulls.

    I totally agree with the entirety of your post. I do believe that the Bulls are throwing shit out there regarding Deng, but nobody is giving us a top 5 pick for him. I sincerely doubt that we can even get a late lottery pick.

    If Cleveland goes big at #1 then they still have a big need for a veteran small forward, the owner is basically guaranteeing a playoff appearance, so a Deng deal might be available. I would have to think long and hard about Deng for the rest of the Cav's picks, 19,31 and 33. Would you do that, as a Bulls fan, I am not sure that Cleveland would do all 3 picks.

    Also, heard that a number of #1's are available for cash, like the Nuggets @27. If I were the Bulls, I'd be grabbing all the picks that I could to use as assets to make a few bold moves today. If we somehow managed to come up with 19, 27, 31 and 33, we should be able to trade 2 for 1 to move up, i.e 19 and 33 for late lottery, 20 and 31 for late lottery. This would allow us to get both a bigman and a wing scorer of our choosing. Then we could use 27 for Thomas Robinson, since we would have dumped Deng's salary and now had money to spend.

    This could be a great opportunity to adjust our salary structure while adding several cheap assets to develop, and maybe free up enough money to spend the full MLE, or at a minimum get us out of the tax this year and lessen the likelihood of a repeater in the future.

    If nothing happens and we just pick @20, I totally agree with you that we should go for a bigman, i.e. Dieng over any of the wing scorers. If we don't go big, then I could see the Bulls going for Jamaal Franklin, even though he is the worst pure shooter among the wing scorer group. However, everything else about him screams Bulls guy. Heck, he even managed to pull down nearly 10rpg from the shooting guard position.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for Dieng making it to our pick, hoping for a big move involving Deng, almost certain to be disappointed on both counts.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Agree with your call to buy a draft pick(s) for cash. This option is available most every year to varying degrees and the NBA's most profitable team, pocketing tens of millions every season, could easily find the cash.

    But draft picks will never be purchased for cash with Rein$dorf because, as he showed us last year, its cheaper to sign 1-year vet minimum contracts than to make Basketball Decisions - those often cost money which lowers the pocketed profits.

  • Checking out fan comments in Washington and Portland.

    The Wiz fans would burn down the Whitehouse if they traded the 3rd pick for Deng, just as I would if I were them.

    Portland fans are not huge fans of Aldridge, they are willing to move him, but all they want from the Bulls is Noah, Gibson and the Charlotte pick. Nucking Futs.

  • After sleeping on it, I would be comfortable with swapping Taj, Jimmy and the Charlotte Pick for LaMarcus. Its hard to let go of Jimmy, but I just think back to when we could have spun Deng off to get a superstar and didn't because we were blinded by him being our guy and having so much upside. All that being said, we aren't going to do anything. This is a risk averse front office. I love the Bulls but it's so hard to root for a team when you know exactly what your front office will do. I know as fans we don't know the game as well as some of the execs, but it's just sad when you see a team like Houston always going for it, they always are in the middle of a deal or always trying to sign somebody. They have made the most of the cards they have been dealt. They have set themselves up to be able to pair Dwight Howard and James Harden, if not they'll have room the following summer to sign a big name free agent. They have tradable assets and use them. If GarPax didn't 1.9% themselves into D. Rose, where would we be? We actually saw where last year, we'd be the 5th seed in East in perpetuity. This is CHICAGO! We have a built in advantage that we can't capitalize on because ownership sucks! OK, I'm done venting, enjoy your draft night fellas.

  • Noah has done a lot for Bulls fans, and created many memorable moments no doubt. There are times when I luv Joakim as in Nets killer, but in two of the last three playoffs he has shot .411 and .437 in the playoffs, and that's as a Big.

    People who want to keep Jo fine, but the injuries(and his salary in the mega tax era) are what make me say a trade and after his long opportunity here is not disloyal or a backstab. Even if the Bulls would stumble into a Finals from a limp Eastern Conference, with Jo and Lu say past an injured Miami team the offensive performances rise to an awesome level. The Bulls are offensively challenged as we all know and even from an entertainment standpoint let alone winning we need an offensive stud and stellar role players aka upgrades.

    I don't even know what Jo's value is right now let alone Lu's, but keeping this core, I like loyalty, but all the injuries and long run.. I want some flippin offense. Please.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Noah has been my favorite Bull from day one, however, I would have to strongly consider trading him for Aldridge if we had simply retained Asik as any braindead idiot should have known was the right thing to do.

    With no Asik or anything near equivalent to Noah to replace Noah as the defensive centerpiece of the team I would have to turn down a Noah for Aldridge trade. Aldridge is a very very good player, but not a championship horse that you can ride. Is he a #2 horse, maybe, probably, or is he a #3.

    Simply put every move that the Bulls make or don't make or can't make is making the failure to retain Asik look more and more moronic. and a significant majority of Bulls fans were on board with the Bulls managements decision.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    +100
    A frontline of Asik at C, Aldridge at PF, with Gibson off the bench would be quite good.

  • Wojo Yahoo sports says Erick Green to San Antonio at No. 28 as does latest NBADraft.Net revision. Therefore, Spurs FO being geniuses obviously you draft Erick Green.(Ha, ha).

    Option: Trade down as your going to drop Nate and Beli anyway, and get both rocket rising Isaiah Cannan and Erick Green. Or how about you keep your pick as Dieng, Larkin, or Hardaway, and buy a late 20's pick you greedy leech years of obscene profits s.o.b's then drafting Canaan/Green. Now you've secured by wide consensus two of the better players in this draft.

    Orrr.. stand pat at 20, save your money, and select... Mason Plumlee! Chris Farley voice, "Helll Yeahh!!"

  • Boston trying to trade Garnett and Pierce to Brooklyn. I know both ate past prime, but look how Nets owner willing to get his team to the top and what are the Bulls FO doing...CRICKETS...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Just because it makes a big splash doesn't mean it's a good trade. The Nets just traded away something like 8 players for three guys who are about to retire. They made a win it now move with a wait and see coach. To me, this move was really dump.

  • I'm not expecting anything major, so I'll just be happy if the Bulls don't waste a pick on someone who had a terrible college record like Teague. If you're going to be cheap you have to at least get cheap guaranteed talent in the draft.

    So I'm hoping for Gorgui Dieng, since it seems like he can probably play right away and keep Noah's minutes down.

  • Interesting pick, Snell seems to be a guy who could fill the Kyle Korver role they missed last year. Will be interesting how the Bulls handle rotations and who they're going to go after as a free agent, assuming Marco, Nate and Rip leave the wings on the roster are Deng, Butler and Snell, all of whom are more natural fits at the 3 than the 2. I guess there's Kirk too, but he's never healthy and absolute garbage off the ball, so I don't count him as a 2.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Yeah, feels like the Bulls might have been trying to replace Rip's skill set. Running off screens, getting out on the break.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I thought it was an interesting pick as well...it almost seems as if they are either A) planning on letting Deng walk at some point or B) packaging Deng as part of a trade for a second 'star'. If they really wanted more shooting/scoring at the 2, I would have thought Hardaway Jr. or Crabbe would have made more sense. They now have three guys in Butler, Deng, and Snell that are naturals at the 3 spot but 'can' play the 2.

  • In reply to Motoman:

    I think Deng was likely to be on the way out no matter who the Bulls draft, he's too expensive a luxury when you have Jimmy Butler on the roster who plays a similar type of role and is younger and cheaper.

    Snell looks like a guy who really only has shooting going for him but hopefully it's something that should just translate and he can be productive straight away - assuming Thibs trusts his defense enough to let him on the court. The Bulls biggest need was someone who can knock down threes, I think taking a pure shooter is picking for need even if the position issue doesn't make it look like it.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I agree with both of you. Some Analysts claim that Deng is a player a number of teams covet -- if so, strange the Bulls have not been able to pull trigger on a trade for him.

    Anyway, the Bulls need a 2nd impact player, however they get him. Meanwhile, they are trying to land players with potential, like Butler and Gibson, in the draft. They should buy a couple more 2nd rounders -- should have done it last year, too, as many posted back then.

  • Weren't the Kings interested in Deng last year? If they still are it would be nice if a package could be built around Deng for Mclemore. Not sure what would have to go back but I would think it would be worth looking at.

    Also, how is an all-star point guard traded for a shot blocker and what will turn into a pick in the teens next year? Philly must be determined to blow that up, but it is hard for me to imagine that is equal value for one of the top 5 PGs under 25 in the league.

  • In reply to do53:

    Philly are tanking for a shot at Wiggins, the worse they get next year the better. So get rid of the all-star point guard, draft a guy who is injured and will miss part of the year, it's a sensible move in the context of the game they're playing.

  • My sense is that I like the Snell pick better than the Teague pick, except of course for the fact that they passed on Dieng, who ended up with the T Wolves along with Shabazz for Trey Burke to the Jazz.

    The Snell pick seems like a set up to let Deng depart after this upcoming season. Hopefully that departure will be in the form of a trade that brings a useful asset in return. Of course that depends on Snell turning out to be a player, at least on the order of Taj Gibson or Jimmy Bulter.

    Not shocked that they went with Snell, my biggest question is what would they have done had the fucking Cavs not been pigs and taken Karasev one fucking pick before us. Good thing that we didn't trade Deng for the Cav's 19 & 31 and or 33.

    I'm interested in hearing Kevin's response to the Bulls picking Snell given who was on the Board, i.e. Dieng.

  • Snell is a good shot for a future impact player. I liked Green much better, he could turn into an All-star (so could Snell, tho, and he's bigger than Green.).

    Snell is a better pick than Dieng, IMO, because his upside is higher. We'll know in a year or two. It seems that a lot of bigs have knee and foot problems!

    I did not like the idea of trading the Charlotte pick unless it was to move into the top 5 of this draft. The Bulls may wind up with a #5 and in a better draft, so it was smart to hold off on that trade.

    They will have to move Deng before the trade deadline this coming season. Hopefully they will get something decent then.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I agree with not moving the Charlotte pick unless it is for a big time asset. I think this is even more important after them taking Zeller tonight with the 4th pick. I think that was the best pick of the night from a Bulls perspective.

  • And another shooter in the second round, not sure Erik Murphy will do a lot but it's a good sign the Bulls are at least looking for someone who can play the 4 and shoot threes.

  • And damn have the Nets gone all in or what, a line up of Williams/Johnson/Pierce/KG/Lopez + Terry is old old old and they'll owe first rounders to Boston in 2016 and 2018. Huge win now move so props for trying but I don't see how they hope to beat the Heat without some youth somewhere. Who on that team guards LeBron? Huge ask for Jason Kidd to coach that lot first up too.

  • That is awesome that you invited us all to your party, Doug! I wish I could have made it! Maybe next year. I wish you all the best!

  • Please, Bulls, get Carmichael and Mbakwe into camp.

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