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Bulls can’t decide if they want to look cheap or lazy in explaining sale of 2nd rounder

why not both!

2016 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

John Paxson (who looks to have taken back over the front-facing role from Gar Forman) was on 670TheScore this morning and on a normal franchise would be talking about the season opening tonight but mostly were forced to address their many failures.

One of which was trying to justify why a rebuilding team would outright sell their second-round pick.

This has been attempted before by Paxson and Forman, first they tried to get into roster-size minutiae and revealed they didn’t really know it, but also self-owned later in the summer by indicating that they simply didn’t have enough players they liked at the 38th spot in the draft.

If you’re wondering how Paxson would try and spin it this time, rest assured that since it was an indefensible move, he indeed did not adequately defend it. In fact, he first went back to admission that their draft board dried up.

We had our draft board with Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf, and identified 5 players who we really value. When we got to that pick, the 5 players were gone.

5 players! And Paxson later in the interview went into ‘positional fit’ when addressing Jordan Bell (who will likely be good, though it unfairly gives Bulls credit to suggest they knew that), citing their depth at power forward at the time and taking Markkanen in the first round. Of course 2 of these dudes fought eachother (Pax said it may bring the team together(!)) but it should go without saying that when your roster is so bereft of talent you don’t really worry about position.

The Bulls are lazy. It permeates everything, including what happened on draft night. But they’re also cravenly profit-focused and cheap. That kind of leads into the laziness, but was more-or-less unsaid in prior addresses to that draft-night fiasco.

But here, Paxson actually pivoted to it explicitly as a justification:

When looking ahead to the future, you have to build up some equity with decisions you make.

Pax’s vomit-inducing tale followed like this: ownership, 14 flippin’ years ago, paid $3m to swap draft picks and get another top-10 selection that went to select Luol Deng*. So in this situation, the guy with the same job says: “we knew we could use the roster spot in a different way, and down the road we can use the money to our advantage. “

This is gross. And pretty shocking that it’s admitted.

Having a staggering amount of money is one of the advantages the Chicago Bulls have. There’s no need to pocket a little now to spend it later. You can spend it now, and spend it later, and especially as part of a rebuilding situation that’s supposed to be an asset.

Another way that asset is used is through more resources in scouting and development. Instead, Paxson admitted again that the team in the league’s 3rd largest market (and largest market with a single franchise) has a ‘relatively small’ scouting staff. But don’t worry, Paxson said, he and Forman do a lot themselves, and “really believe we have a good process and we’re confident in our staff”.

That same staff, on top of other failures the past 5 years, couldn’t identify and justify to ownership adding a player with the 38th pick in this past draft. That’s laziness and a lack of resources.

That they also had motivation to not select anybody because they could pocket some cash (not ‘flexibility’ or cap space, cash) is admitting you’re a garbage franchise.

*Ironic invocation of Luol Deng’s name, who had a great career as a Bull and was a wonderful draft selection, though was eventually traded away for immediate cash savings and then the draft pick that was sold for more cash savings.