The earliest the Bulls can get this pick is 2012. It’s protected for four years and unprotected in the 5th year. The protection starts at the lottery and goes down each year.
Until looking this up, I thought teams could only trade picks up to five years in the future, but apparently my memory serves me incorrectly and it’s seven years into the future. The Bulls will definitely get a pick in this case whereas I thought there would be a scenario where they wouldn’t get the pick if Minnesota didn’t get theirs until the final year of protection.
The latest the Bulls can get the pick is 2016.
That’s some pretty long value, but sometimes those things pay off big time. Ask the Utah Jazz who get the Knicks unprotected 1st rounder this year.