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.
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.