Lotto results should help the East, may help the Bulls

The Cavaliers will be picking #1 again for the third time in four years after hitting on a 1.7% chance to win the lottery.  I suppose the conspiracy theorists will say the NBA just wants to make up for that whole LeBron James thing by putting a dominant team in one of the crappiest markets in the NBA instead of in Boston or L.A.

The results of the lottery weren’t particularly great for the NBA as the top two picks will go to lousy markets. I suppose Philly’s a decent market, but with Boston and L.A. in prime position to move up and not doing so, the biggest markets not only won’t get a pick, but also slid back a slot from their default place as Cleveland jumped them.


Would the Bulls trade Tom Thibodeau for the #7 pick in the draft? That might be the question on the board now. Clearly the Lakers, if they were considering making a move for Thibs, were waiting to see where waiting to see where their pick fell. Noah Vonleh and Marcus Smart represent the #7 slots on and respectively.

I doubt the Lakers will make such a move, but moving back an additional slot and not winning the lottery may make it at least a possibility. As for the Bulls would they accept one? I think they should if it’s on the table, but it might negatively impact their FA search if they do which means maybe they shouldn’t.

If you lose Melo out on the trade, then it might be wise to pass, but this current roster construction for Chicago has a small enough chance at winning that gambling on talent in the draft might be a worthwhile endeavor. On top of that, Melo’s a fairly low percentage chance anyway. If I could add the 7th pick in this draft for Thibs I’m in though.

The relationship between Thibs and management shows enough strain that he won’t be here after this deal is over. Not unless the situation here is so much better than his alternatives, but that’s unlikely. He’ll be courted by L.A. and N.Y. and by the time his deal is done, the Bulls will be about ready to rebuild most likely.

As for the rest of the results, the Bulls would have benefited from Sacramento moving up, but instead they also move down a slot. Chicago needs the Kings to improve enough to push their pick into the #11 slot so it won’t be top 10 protected and a top three pick would have gone a long way towards getting them there.

The Cavs moving up might help Chicago if they can make the playoffs next season but still finish worse than the Bulls. In that scenario, the Bulls would be eligible to swap fist rounders with Cleveland as part of the Luol Deng trade. Odds are this won’t make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things since Chicago could, at best, move up to pick #15, but it’s better than nothing if it pans out.

However, it probably does make the Bulls 2015 first rounder at least somewhat more attractive in terms of trade value, particularly if the Bulls look to make a move around the deadline, are playing very well, and Cleveland looks like a low rung playoff team.


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  • Not sure id trade Thibs for 7. Seems short sighted. Over the last 10 drafts, the 7 picks have not been all that.

    For Wiggins, yes possibly because he's a stud. Maybe Embiid.

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    No way I trade Thibodeau for any pick in the draft or any player in the NBA. He's what makes this team tick and keeps everyone focused. You really have no idea what you're going to get from a draft pick, but you can clearly see what this coach is giving you.

  • In reply to Anthony Hinton:

    Thibs is a mixed bag, that is the problem. He is a defensive genius.

    However, he runs his starters into the ground! That has been an issue for years. Back in Boston, he and Rivers clashed over that ideology. Plus, he refuses to play guys that the team needs to develop. I partly blame Gar/Pax for this for firing Adams, who did somewhat complement Thibs.

    In view of the above, I would trade him for the #7 pick.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Who was he refusing to play? Jimmer? He developed Rose, Butler, Gibson, turned Deng and Noah into all-stars. He's even developing Snell.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    He sat on Butler for the first year. This year, he ran the kid into the ground. IMO, he should have played Snell more and worked out the kinks in his game. And for what? A higher seeding? Yeah, that worked out real well.

    As for Jimmer, they brought him in partly to see what he might become for the future. This was the perfect year to give him a decent shot.

    But you ignored the bigger issue, he wears out his starters, leading to collapses in the playoffs! Do you really doubt that?

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Thibs just plain doesn't get it and is perhaps too stubborn to ever get it.
    His one-game-at-a-time philosophy completely ignores the long-term wisdom that is required to survive the regular season ultra-marathon and enter the playoffs intact and rested. Look at who's on the verge of returning to the Finals, Spurs and Heat. Two teams who seriously rest their players during the regular season.

    Tom Thibodeau is a life-long assistant coach masquerading as a head coach. He's very good at the things assistant coaches do, and poor at the things head coaches do (do we need to list them?). I've grown weary of the constant references to Thibs as a "great coach". Great coaches win, in the playoffs not the regular season, and Thibs has never done that as a head coach. So until he does and with some regularity, can we please stop with "great coach" references? He's simply not.

  • In reply to Edward:

    While I mostly agree with you, Thibs coached the Bulls past the Nets last year so "Thibs has never done that" is a patently false statement.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    My sense is that Edward was not speaking literally, I think by win in the playoffs he meant more than just winning a first round series.

    To me anything short of making the final 4 is not winning in the playoffs.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    but he did that to.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    My initial reaction is to agree with you rustyw. Thibbs is a great coach. But his style has to wear on players as well as management over time. Could this be like when they let Doug Collins go for unknown Phil Jackson? And it looks to me like you get a pretty good PF at #7 - which would come in handy if they amnesty Booz as expected. Wonder if Hoiberg has been brushing up on Zen-Buddism

  • Lottery thoughts: 1) I don't think Gar/Pax would trade Thibodeau simply because, as many believe not just this year with the worst offense in the league but from the beginning, it is largely his defensive acumen that is responsible for them posting such winning records. In fact, Noah should probably give half his salary to... alright I'm kidding. But If Thibs does leave where do the Bulls wins come from? The new head coach? Not likely. Unless he's another defensive savant(and established winner/Boston with cred to ride his players) like Thibs.

    Gar/Pax spell job security THIBOD... you get the idea. Some people may feel Pax is untouchable, but losing is losing as in natives even Chicago supplicant saps would start complaining. The Reinsdorf's perpetual profit model comes first thus subtle hints to Pax that, maybe it's time for a "breath of fresh air." And personally I have my doubts as to whether Mitch Kupchak views Thib's overall coaching style as one that fits in L.A. Especially since for the first time in a long while the Lakers look to be in rebuild mode.

    2) Non Bulls related, I think it's funny(and is maybe taking the easy way out) bringing in an emotional, reactionary personality like Stan Van Gundy in to not only coach your team, but be the Pres. as in have final say over basketball decisions. His first official act is to preside over a phantom pick that in 1.7th blink of an eye disappears. Nice. I know, not really his fault, but what the hell. Pistons fans, I give you Uncle Spazzy. This will not end well.

    3) Finally, aside from Kevin Love's leaving Minny post courtesy of ESPN setting up a possible draft day trade(with someone who has a top 5 pick as in not the Bulls), do the lottery results offer a scenario more likely for the Bulls to make a major trade? Short answer: I don't think they're doing one period. Why upset fans if it doesn't work out, and ruin a good thing? There's simply no reason to. That said, Orlando now has the No. 4 and No. 12 picks. The local media is already suggesting the Magic may package both picks along with a player to move up to get Wiggins, Parker, or Embiid. With Exum very possibly there at 4 I don't know that they would do that. Rather then add to Oladipo, Harkless, Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson, Tobias Harris etc etc. Youth League maybe they go for a veteran presence such as Joakim Noah for the No.14 plus Afflallo? Of course that would likely put Jo at PF with Vucevic in place at Center.

    Bottom line: I know, Jo is "too valuable" and at the same time we can't get anything for him worthwhile in trade. Plus trading Jo would mean a rebuild. Personally, I think the Bulls are already in rebuild mode unless Derrick comes back an an All-Star. Though with two picks already(that Thibs maddeningly will likely not play much which is a serious failing on his part) why add a third? In fact why even draft two players if you're keeping Noah and Thibs for a "run?" Better perhaps to trade one of the picks for an actual shooter such as Afflallo if you can get him as in somebody who will actually play. Though honestly in this particular draft I might rather have both picks but for Thib's rookie roadblock

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I would trade one of the Bulls' picks for Afflallo, but I think it would take more to get him. However, the Bulls have needed the SG forever.

    I doubt that Noah for Afflallo and the #12 pick (which I assume you meant) would be a good idea. The Bulls could get more for Noah.

    If the Bulls did trade Thibs for the Lakers' #7 pick, they might be able to package that and Taj and pieces for Love.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Hey, if we trade Thibs and Noah, then we'd have the 7th, 12th, 16th, and 19th picks, plus Mirotic. All we have to do then is find a coach who loves rookies, and a team with no legit NBA center on the roster.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Your first point is so spot on. I've been trying to explain this to people for months.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I think that Afflalo and 14 undervalues Noah right now. My guess is that most NBA GM's don't make that trade. Depending on how fast he declines it might be an O.K. deal, not good or great.

    Obviously, you don't care much for Noah, so you are happy to be rid of him and have another shot at a draft pick. If 14 turns out to be another James Johnson, and Noah stays healthy then you lose that trade.

    Don't get me wrong, I think that Afflalo is one of the best options available for the Bulls at shooting guard(I'd be quite happy to have him), along with Shaun Livingston(who may or may not be a SG) but acquiring Afflalo is not worth creating another gaping hole especially at the most critical position on our defense.

  • Side note: Tid-bits from the draft combine. Since I've been a draft nerd the last several years(and in general a lot longer, ha) Numbers don't always matter a ton EXCEPT in cases of extremes being perceived exceptional qualities confirmed or exposed or feared sub par qualities proven true or debunked. Not fair necessarily but certainly a reality to some extent.

    Take Dante Exum whose speed both lat quick/defensively and down court offensively were terrific along with wingspan. Also very good over all numbers including lat quickness/lane agility of 10.75 for Nik Staukas meaning he is on the move as in up. Will definitely not be available. For anyone whose interested all the combine numbers are already posted on DraftExpress under Measurements History select year 2104.

    One guy who may defy the numbers though is Jordan Adams. Not just because I like the guy, but according to the ESPN moderators etc. Adams looked terrific in the scrimmages and drills as in teams were impressed. As for his horrendous 29" "Max" vert, really with his game and wingspan he doesn't need to jump and people who follow him already knew he couldn't. And while his lat quick/lane agility score was also sub par the bottom line is that with his instincts, anticipation and 6'10 long arms of the law his prolific steals and rebounds numbers ring true.

    Sounds a bit over the top, but when a big like Noah Vonleh has not only ridiculous wingspan, but just huge hands to control the ball his stock is also on the rise. Too bad Jordan Adams hands are on the small side, but he's got game and that's all that really matters. Shabazz Napier who also had very good numbers I still like him as well though Kevin I believe is not a fan. Two other notes: Doug McDermott had pretty darn good lane agility numbers considering his rep and Adrien Payne has some big hands which I applaud(ha.) So Does DeAndre Daniels by the way his flippin' hands especially width is ridiculous.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I don't understand why Daniels is so underrated on just about every mock I have seen. He has been productive and clutch for a terrific team. Seems to have the size as well. Go figure.

    My takeaway from the lottery is that Cleveland will be a force for the next several years. Assuming they take Wiggins, they will have two of the most electric players along with Kyrie. Thompson is an excellent young big as well. If Waiters can assume a complementary scorer's role this team could be dynamite if they can get a coach to get them to jell.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Maybe with that group LeBron would consider a return to Cleveland.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Personally I think McDermott is heavily undervalued. He's getting the white guy treatment, which would make sense if his measurables were anything short of outstanding. The guy has a 36" vertical(or 34"?)! He'll be able to get his shot whenever wherever.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    It is amazing how similar McDermott's game is to Wally Sczerbiac. Not only do they have almost the same size and build but the release on their jump shots is almost identical. Both were phenomenal shooters in college.

    I predict that, barring injury, McDermott will have the same kind of career as Sczerbiac. You may recall the Bulls were hot for Wally for a couple of years but the TWolves GM at the time, Kevin McHale, was always trying to extort from the Bulls more than he was worth.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Great comparison. Totally agree.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    If that is the case does that make him a top 10 pick or top 15?

  • With the Lakers only picking seventh, they don't have much to offer in a trade for Melo or Love, so to some degree that does help the Bulls. If they want to deal for either of those guys, that's one less team they have to compete with and less they have to give up.

  • Has anyone considered the benefit of a sign-and-trade for Kevin Love that doesn't involve Carlos Boozer? Personally I think Melo helps the Bulls more over the next few years. But in addition to Love's age, the one other aspect that might make him a better move for the Bulls, is the fact that his salary number is at least in theory reachable without including Boozer in the deal. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but if we were able to trade for Love without losing(oxymoron?) Boozer; couldn't we then amnesty Boozer after attaining Love? Thereby recouping some(quite a bit actually) cap space to fill in the roster holes left by the players used in the Love trade? Isn't this a huge benefit to our future/current flexibility vs. sending Boozer's expiring away in a trade? Isn't the inherent value in our one chance at utilizing the amnesty clause lost when Boozer is traded? Obviously, it doesn't matter if Minnesota preferred the cap space an expiring large contract provides over any talent/assets the Bulls could/would offer in its place. But the prospect of getting a top 10-15 player, while still reaping the benefits of amnestying Boozer's contract post trade is making my mouth water. Someone let me know if this isn't an at least possible scenario.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    It's possible but not probable, I don't see the Bulls eating the final year of that deal and they'll rationalize it as, "We wanted to maintain the flexibility of having Booz's large expiring on the books." Barring a trade my prediction is that Carlos Boozer is a Bull in 2014-15. You're idea is good because it would allow the Bulls to bring back more salary in trade than they send out. That being said, with the amount of expiring/unguaranteed/option deals (about $28.6MM) the Bulls have the flexibility to make a trade and take back a bad contract, so amnestying Boozer isn't really practical.

  • I agree, Melo probably helps the Bulls more over the next three years. Love misses more games that Melo, quite a few more as I recall.

    Besides, who can the Bulls throw Minny's way to induce them to trade Love? Butler/Taj/Dunleavy? Plus a few picks? I don't see it. Minny will want a lot more.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    That's all we have to offer other than Mirotic, so if they want more than that then we are out of the running. I don't think that you can give up Taj and Mirotic and both firsts this year. boozer isn't added value to any deal, he's just salary cap ballast.

  • I do Taj, Mirotic, expiring minimum guys and the picks for Love if Minny does. I don't think Jerry is as cheap as some of you make out. They'll amnesty Boozer in this scenario and have money to chase a shooter. And the main value of including Booz in a trade is if they stay above the cap but below the luxury limit, they preserve the non-tax payer exceptions.

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