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Bulls to forfeit 2nd round pick as result of Lonzo Ball tampering

oh no, not that...

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The NBA’s super long and pointless tampering investigation into the Bulls is over, with the league announcing that the Bulls will have to forfeit their next available second round pick.

This is a good result, as it was looking like with the league signaling they were serious (really you guys, this time they meant it) about tampering and taking for fucking ever to come to a decision that there’d be a more stiff penalty.

But it’s a 2nd round pick, something that is bought and sold every draft. I won’t go into what this means for the league but this doesn’t seem like much of a deterrent. The Bulls would happily offer another 2nd rounder if you told them at the time that would still mean them signing Lonzo Ball for 4 years.

The Bulls have already sent out a bunch of second round picks:

  • 2022 - to Spurs or Kings (DeRozan sign/trade)
  • 2023 - to Lakers (via Wizards, from Satoransky sign/trade in 2019)
  • 2024 - to Pelicans (Lonzo Ball sign/trade)
  • 2025 - to Spurs (DeRozan sign/trade)

There is one potential incoming 2nd rounder that could be the one forfeited: a 2023 selection that’s 31-46 protected from Denver (via Cleveland in the Lauri sign/trade). A #47 selection means Denver will be in the top half of the league record-wise next year, which seems likely.

If not that one, then next up would be the Bulls own 2026 2nd. There’s a chance that pick would be obligated too, but only if the remaining 1st owed to Orlando stays protected in 2023 (1-4) and 2024 (1-3), which seems very unlikely.

The language reads like if the Bulls acquire another 2nd from a trading partner, then if it becomes ‘available’ it’s immediately forfeited. I wonder if they could just send cash to a team on draft night for the 57th pick or whatever and just forfeit that?