The 2020 NBA Draft is finally here. It has been three months since the Bulls jumped up to the No. 4 pick, and now we get to see what they’re going to do.
One theme leading up to this draft is that nobody seems to know what the Bulls are planning. Just yesterday, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo said “the Bulls continue to stump the remainder of the NBA with their intentions at No. 4.” This echoes other scuttlebutt leading up to the draft, with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie saying similar.
But we can lead today with the juciest and freshest gossip, from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor:
League sources say the Warriors are weighing whether to accept a trade offered by the Bulls that would send Chicago their no. 2 overall pick for Wendell Carter Jr. and the fourth pick. If the Bulls trade up, sources believe they’ll select James Wiseman.
Just yesterday, O’Connor had the Bulls looking for a playmaker, with Deni Avdija the pick if LaMelo Ball goes in the top three. Interestingly, Ball revealed Tuesday he didn’t have a workout with the Bulls. While there’s a good chance Ball doesn’t drop, it’s still somewhat odd that they didn’t work him out. Then as you see today, it’s instead where the Bulls would select a big after trading up using another one in Carter.
It’s very interesting wording that suggests that the Bulls are perfectly fine trading away WCJ and it’s the Warriors who are still considering. Maybe there’s unreported compensation besides moving up two spots, as that seems like a very steep price. It would dovetail into prior assessments of the new Bulls front office that they value Carter below Lauri Markkanen, and shooting in general.
O’Connor also reported Kemba Walker interest from the Bulls, but that was likely more in context of the Celtics’ Jrue Holiday chase, which fell short. It’s tough to see the Celtics trading Walker now with Holiday off the board, and it’s arguable whether that type of move would have even made sense for the Bulls.
Otherwise, a lot of mock drafts are looking in a specific direction for the Bulls, though it may be based on assumptions about Arturas Karnisovas, someone they don’t really know much from yet. Let’s take a look at some final mocks, complete with intel from them.
While Givony mocks Avdija to the Bulls, he brings up the recent chatter about Patrick Williams, which has really picked up this week (more on this to come). As noted in our last rumors post, he also talks about trade talks for a veteran point guard.
Vecenie notes the Karnisovas international ties and how this is informing thought around the NBA about the Bulls going with Deni. Guards Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes and Kira Lewis Jr. are mentioned as other possibilities. Trading up for LaMelo Ball is also presented as an option, which matches prior reporting, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor says the Bulls and Warriors and have discussed a trading involving trading No. 4 and Wendell Carter Jr. for No. 2. This would presumably be for Ball and would be quite a lot to move up two spots.
Ultimately, Vecenie sees the Bulls as a “wild card” in this draft.
In addition to the standard stuff on Avdija, Woo touches on the “increased chatter” about Williams, noting in a separate column that the Florida State product worked out for the Bulls. NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson also reported on the Williams buzz and even suggested a possible promise. This feels like a smokescreen in an attempt to trade back, but we’ll see.
Ball, Toppin, Haliburton and Hayes are listed as other options.
There’s nothing much new here about Avdija that hasn’t been mentioned. Wasserman did have more on Williams on Twitter, saying the “smoke” is “getting out of hand.” He also shared this idea:
Had a scout float the idea of a Knicks-Bulls pick swap (just spitballing), with the assumption Knicks would want/get Obi at 4, and Bulls could draft either Haliburton, Killian or Patrick Williams at 8— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) November 17, 2020
Ricky echoes all the similar refrains about Deni, but he also does a separate mock featuring what he would do with the No. 4 pick. He goes with Killian Hayes, who has been his guy for the Bulls at that spot since the lottery.