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UPDATE: How about using the pick to acquire the rights to Luis Scola?

SBNation's mock draft is now underway at host site IndyCornrows. It's being conducted by all the SBNation hoops sites as well as other prolific NBA bloggers.

So now I have to officially do some thinking as to what the Bulls should do at #9. Given the lack of a major salary piece to conduct a blockbuster deal, I doubt the pick will be traded on draft night (and trades are fair game for this Mock Draft we're doing, by the way) unless a minor deal is made to move a few spots up or down, like last season.

The major question in draft philosophy is how much risk Pax is willing to take. Unless the Bulls can find another sucker like Isiah, it's hard to imagine that they'll be picking in the top-10 any time soon. So does that mean they try and gamble on a project like Yi (some would say Spencer Hawes is a worthwhile project as well), knowing this is their last shot at a lottery talent? It's a reasonable strategy, but the Bulls already have their project big man in Tyrus Thomas.

Or is this draft so deep in good-enough prospects that they take a more-ready player to fill a rotation slot? Considering the number of free agents the Bulls have, a top pick is a nice way to provide cheap reinforcement to ease any losses during the offseason.

I'm thinking that they should do the latter, and then still look for that starting PF through a Nocioni (and others, if need be) sign/trade. As much crap as I give Noc (or more specifically, Skiles' devotion to him), if he's traded, the Bulls need to come up with replacements with similar skills off the bench.

If Duhon's traded there's a similar hole at backup point, but I think that's minor compared to the frontcourt help needed to compensate for possibly losing PJ Brown, Noc, Malik Allen, and Mike Sweetney (and Khryapa in a trade, as he has an expiring deal) over the summer.  Even getting someone who can play some wing would be nice, as Deng's only backup is Griffin, and Thabo during small-ball mode.

So who fits that bill best? My scouting experience is lacking so I'm welcome to comments on this, but at #9 the best options seem to be Jeff Green or Julian Wright. I actually like Al Hortford best but I'm assuming he'll be long gone.  Joakim Noah is generally seen as too similar to what the Bulls already have, but he does distinguish himself as being tall, something the Bulls don't have. Any of these players can help solidify the the roster in the aftermath of a big trade (yet still are young and talented enough to be a part of a future trade down the line if they wound up 'blocked' by Deng or Thomas). If the Bulls aren't trying to swing for the fences, I don't like Yi, Brandon Wright, or Hawes to do the same.