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Chicago Bulls 2021 maybe they’ll trade into the first round thread

might be a quiet night, but AKME is so SECRETIVE

2020 Chicago Bulls NBA Draft Team Operations Room Photo by Joe Pinchin/NBAE via Getty Images

The Bulls trading away their first round pick dovetailed nicely into this blogger’s long-standing ethos to not really put effort in draft analysis. The Bulls do have a selection in the 2nd round, and reportedly were doing individual workouts, but it is probably a relatively quiet time for them in terms of draft prep as well.

HOWEVER, tonight is a major trading day too. Though free agency doesn’t officially start until Monday, we know there are negotiations and pre-arranged deals for the new cap calendar year.

So something may happen tonight in terms of the Bulls pursuit of a point guard or their fifteen other significant needs.

The draft brings to mind something I noticed in the organizational revamp after Arturas Karnisovas’s hire. It was not as total (or nearly as swift) as I would’ve liked, but there are a lot of new faces in the organization. John Paxson would humblebrag over his small staff and it was known throughout the league that the Bulls - third biggest market - just didn’t have much in terms of scouting or development personnel.

While the player development staff was significantly bolstered (and that’s a whole ‘nother topic: why they did these hires but didn’t do any actual work for a whole year with instead dead-weight contracts and no GLeague team...), the scouting and front office still had many holdovers. This includes Brian Hagen, Gar’s former ballboy who I believe was pretty high up in the college scouting. Jim Paxson remains filing his bi-weekly reports from the Panera in north Scottsdale. Ivica Dukan is probably reduced to collecting paychecks with ‘thanks for Kukoc’ in the memo.

Looking at the staff directory, it’s not as bad as I thought. Several new people and hopefully the holdovers are as marginalized as (I hope) Paxson is.

Here it was in 2018, with Jim Boylen as CEO taking on all sorts of duties to consolidate power and ownership more than happy to oblige with a lower staff payroll.

And now today, and as you can see they replaced their one-man player development staff with many.

It still bothers me that the GarPax era wasn’t purged enough. Their draft record has sucked for nearly 10 years and a major reason why Karnisovas is in such a hole when it comes to accumulating talent. But I am not confident in speculating just what all these new guys do and if they have more importance than the holdovers. We have seen reporting suggesting that Donovan has an outsized role in personnel decisions too, though not quite ‘CEO’. Maybe that’s partially because there weren’t a bunch of execs and scouts brought in, and maybe (this is facetious:) the Bulls traded away their draft picks as to not do the work required in scouting. That would be very BlogABull-ian!

Anyway, enjoy the draft. We’ll have any breaking news if something shakes loose tonight in terms of the Bulls bigger plans for the summer, and at the least will have a write-up of their 2nd round pick.