NBA Draft: What Did The Chicago Bulls Do?

NBA Draft: What Did The Chicago Bulls Do?

On Thursday night, the NBA held their annual draft. The Chicago Bulls entered the night with the 16th and 19th overall selections in the first round, and the 49th overall pick in the second.

Before the Bulls were on the clock, it was announced that they had traded both of their first round selections to the Denver Nuggets for the player they had selected at 11, Doug McDermott. The Bulls and Nuggets had been rumored to be talking about a potential swap for a few days, and those rumors became reality early in the night.

What did the Bulls get in McDermott?

"Dougy Buckets" was one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history, playing for his father at Creighton. He surprised some scouts at the combine when he put up a 36½-inch vertical, and he was considered a lottery pick since August.

To get McDermott, the Bulls gave up two picks. They were used on Bosnian center Jusuf Nukic (16) and Michigan State guard Gary Harris (19).

Many thought Harris would be a great fit in Chicago, and nobody thought he would be on the board still when the 19th pick came up. What makes the deal intriguing from Denver's perspective is that the Nuggets acquired another player the Bulls had been linked to - Aaron Afflalo - from Orlando before the draft. The additions of Afflalo and Harris gives Denver a crowded roster at the guard-small forward positions moving forward.

The deal was initially reported as just a swap of picks, but Denver threw in a roster player as well.

Anthony Randolph (6-10, 205) was also sent to Chicago in the deal.

Randolph, the 14th overall pick in the 2008 Draft (when the Bulls landed DRose), has bounced around some since leaving LSU. He'll turn 25 on July 15, and has already played for the Warriors, Knicks, Timberwolves and Nuggets since Golden State drafted him six year ago.

He has been part of two significant trades already in his career, heading from the Warriors to the Knicks in the David Lee trade in 2010, and then as part of the multi-team blockbuster that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks seven months later. The Anthony trade sent Randolph to Minnesota, where he played only 23 games.

So... why Randolph?

Well... we already mentioned Carmelo Anthony. And the Bulls appear to be all-in to land Anthony this summer.

Where does Randolph fit in Chicago?

Likely in the spot that might be vacated by a traded Taj Gibson if/when the Bulls pull the trigger on a sign-and-trade to bring Anthony to town.

Consider these career averages:

  • Points per Game:
    Gibson - 9.1 (372 career games)
    Randolph - 7.1 (252 career games)
  • Rebounds per Game:
    Gibson - 6.2
    Randolph - 4.3
  • Blocked Shots per Game:
    Gibson - 1.3
    Randolph - 0.9

So that appears to be a drop-off in each category. But when we step back and look at the two players numbers per 36 minutes:

  • Points per 36:
    Gibson - 13.4
    Randolph - 16.8
  • Rebounds per 36:
    Gibson - 9.2
    Randolph - 10.1
  • Blocked Shots per 36:
    Gibson - 2.0
    Randolph - 2.1

Suddenly, we're looking at a player who was equally - if not more - productive per 36 minutes on the floor.

When we dig a little deeper, there are some advanced stats that continue to give some hope about Randolph needing a better situation.

In his career, Randolph has a 15.5% total rebound percentage (percent of total rebounds he snagged while on the floor); Gibson's career total rebound percentage is 14.5. Randolph's career offensive rating (101) and defensive rating (106) are almost identical to Gibson's (105, 100).

The biggest difference on the stat sheet is the wins shares the two players have accumulated to date. Gibson (23.4) dwarfs Randolph (5.8). Is coaching a factor? Perhaps the fact that Randolph has been on some mediocre teams influenced his production? Or maybe he just isn't as good?

One piece of the puzzle that is important: Randolph is significantly less expensive than Gibson.

If the Bulls are going to make a sign-and-trade for Anthony happen, Gibson might be a piece the Knicks would want in return. Acquiring Randolph gives the Bulls a potential replacement option on their roster if New York asks for Taj.

The fear: when he left LSU, Randolph was compared to Tyrus Thomas. If those comparisons continue, the Bulls will need another big body to produce.

Which brings us to the second round of the draft.

With the 19th pick of the second round (49th overall), the Bulls chose power forward Cameron Bairstow (6-9, 250) from New Mexico.

Not a sexy prospect by any means, Bairstow is described as "crafty" and "old school." In his senior year at New Mexico, Bairstow average 20.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Will he make the Bulls roster? Probably not. But he's a big body, and the Bulls hold his rights... which makes him an option if the Bulls can't afford much after making a bold play for Melo.




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  • Randolph has not showed his best performance till date in any of the matches , whereas Gibson is consistently improving. And by the statistical data mentioned above it is very clear that Randolph needs to improve. For more such NBA players data visit

  • If Carmelo tells the Knicks he's going to Chicago, the Knicks will have to take whatever the Bulls offer. Historically, the going rate for an unrestricted free agent (which Carmello is) sign and trade, is expiring contracts and/or second round draft picks.

    Trading Taj Gibson in a sign and trade for an unrestricted free agent (Carmelo) would be beyond incompetent - which Gar/Pax aren't.

    Conversely, if the Timberwolves were willing to trade Kevin Love (who is still under contract) only then would trading Gibson (who plays the same position as Love) and other assets like Snell and future draft picks make perfect sense.

    Research the Scottie Pippen to Houston sign and trade - among others - to get a sense of the going rate for doing sign and trades for your own (namely Knicks) unrestricted free agents.

    By the way, if Phil Jackson wants to play hardball with a sign and trade after Carmelo informs him that he chooses Chicago, he (Melo) can take a two year deal (15-18 mil) with a players option after next year. Then Gar/Pax can build a strong bench this summer and resign Anthony to a max contract next summer.

    Reinsdorf has long promised Bulls fans that the luxury tax was not an issue as long as the Bulls are competing for championships. This would give Reinsdorf the opportunity to deliver on his promise.

    I'm amazed to hear some of my favorite Chicago sports writers suggesting that Gar/Pax should give the Knicks anything other than Boozer's expiring contract and/or a second round pick as sweeteners for an unrestricted free agent.

    Concurrently, I'm happy that it's Gar/Pax pulling the strings and not fans and sports writers.

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    In reply to Roscoe63:

    Amen Brother !!!!!! The sports talk click in town are really out of there mind. Boozer's expired contract and maybe a 2nd , and not the 2nd we got for Deng !!!! That could turn into a 1st sometime.
    Houston is the one team that scares me for Melo.

  • In reply to Sportsgod:


  • Good to see Roscoe & Sportsgod have no idea how the salary cap works...

  • In reply to Tab Bamford:

    This link (like all good sources) will require some reading and researching. If you decide to do the reading and research you can join us and NBA brass in our lack of knowledge about the NBA salary cap.

    Pay close attention to question #92. This is the reason the Bulls can offer the same money as the Lakers - if Carmelo tells the Knicks he chooses Chicago.

    I hope this helps.

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