With the big Anthony Davis trade completed, if not officially, there was potential impact on the Bulls.
It is tough to know how ‘in’ the Bulls were on getting involved as a third team with the Pelicans and Lakers as talks were ongoing. Late last week, KC Johnson of the Tribune had a couple of his classic non-reports saying “I assume they will try”, but the talks were going on, like, right then, and there wasn’t any report that they were actually trying. Then after the fact there’s a line “and while Lonzo Ball intrigued the Bulls...” which to me just validates that we should always assume the Bulls are not trying. Trying takes a lot of work!
But the Bulls can still be involved. There’s not much rumbling over the Pelicans re-routing Lonzo Ball elsewhere, but there has been that sentiment surrounding the 2019 draft selection they received from the Lakers.
New Orleans has had significant interest in talks with teams in recent days on the fourth overall pick, and those talks are expected to continue over the next several days, sources said. Teams are pursuing point guards Darius Garland and Coby White high in the lottery
Hey, the Bulls are a team that’s pursuing a point guard! (For around 5 years now...)
The first question is if it’ll be necessary to move up from the #7 spot to get Garland or White. This post at Bulls Confidential speculates teams drafting based on fit, and if #4 is used by the Pelicans they may not want a point guard meaning one drops to Chicago. Then again if we not only shouldn’t assume the Bulls are drafting on fit but other teams won’t either, that may mean something like the latest Draft Express mock, that has De’Andre Hunter, a forward, going to the Bulls.
But say they do need to move up, perhaps becuause they only covet one guard option (they just recently scouted Garland). How could they do it?
We’ve heard prior that everybody but Carter and Markkanen is available. There’s mostly just been pure speculation on that front from “league-wide observers”. Like a LaVine trade package wondered out of thin air from Zach Lowe (and supported by Danny LeRoux). Or even using Markkanen to get #4 (and something else) outright as speculated by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie. This kind of talk is just that, meant more to try and evaluate the actual value of “our core of guys we really like” in a slightly more objective manner than from the types who respond “DAD” to official media accounts.
There’s also this idea posited from Darnell Mayberry, doing a trade similar to the Mavs-Hawks one last year: moving up from #7 to #4 by using a protected 2020 first round pick.
One major difference is the prize for moving up here is Darius Garland, who is not nearly as highly-regarded as Luka Doncic. And there’s this bit from the Hawks perspective on that trade (they selected Trae Young), can you imagine the Bulls brass being this honest and diligent?
“For us, what made it make sense is our analytic staff was predicting Dallas to finish eighth this year,” Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said on the The Woj Podcast during the regular season. “Right now, I think they’re 10th. So I give those guys a lot of credit for being pretty on top of it. So to be able to add two lottery picks this year with a player (who) ended up being Trae — who we’re extremely excited about and he’s had a great rookie season — that made sense to us.
“I’ve always taken the strategy with the draft, (to) use a baseball strategy: the more swings you get the more chances you have to get a hit. So to be able to take one lottery pick and essentially turn it into two, that made sense to us.”
For what it’s worth, a New Orleans local TV-handsome guy actually reports that the Bulls are attempting this. And thanks HoopsRumors, but I’ve never seen this person break a story, the use of ‘could’ is peculiar to me, and I think as fans we should keep our default setting of thinking the Bulls are going to let this all come to them.