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The Bulls likely just lost their chance at another 2017 first-round pick

Kings gonna #Kangz

NBA: All Star Press Conference Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Late last night, shortly after the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, the host Pelicans made a huge trade, acquiring DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings.

No matter your opinions on how Cousins actually can fit with a team, the initial return the Kings received wasn’t much at all, to the point where you hope it doesn’t depress the market for other star-acquiring trades. Boogie is a special case all his own, and not in the class of player (and value) Jimmy Butler is, but still. You have to hope over the next few days we don’t have to hear people back-slapping GarPax for getting more for Butler than the Kings did for Cousins.

But that’s barely tangentially an affect on the Bulls. What’s more important is this:

Heck, it’s possible the Kings on-court play improves getting a more balanced (emotionally too, lol) roster, but it’s no matter: the Kings want to be bad, right now.

Because their 1st round draft pick this year goes to the Bulls if it is placed outside of the top-10. Sacramento has had a spasm of competence lately (without Cousins...) to currently put them in that sweet spot where they’d still miss the playoffs but send their pick to Chicago.

That season result would be even more disastrous to the Kings than the return they just got for trading their star. Even they’re not dumb enough to let it happen now. Maybe.

So now the pick the Bulls will be receiving from Sacramento will be in the second round, currently slotted at #41 but obviously falling as the Kings do in the standings.

Not a great return for the Luol Deng trade 3 years ago, but always remember that the Bulls didn’t strive then for the best assets in return, they moreso wanted the cash savings of using that deal to get immediately under the luxury tax. So Gar Forman’s plan worked.