If you’re comfortable with the Chicago Bulls‘ current roster and stock of draft picks, one NBA insider implies you shouldn’t get too attached to the team’s assets.
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Chicago Likely to Trade Up in the Draft: Report
NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh told Chicago Tribune Bulls beat writer K.C. Johnson the team isn’t likely to stay put with its No. 4 pick. He references Bulls President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas and General Manager, Marc Eversley:
“I think [Karnišovas] might move up because I think No. 1 with Minnesota and No. 2 (with Golden State) is going to be readily available. I would be surprised if you didn’t see Charlotte (at No. 3) or Chicago move up in the draft.”
Who Might the Bulls Be Targeting?
If the team is insistent on moving up to the top 2 picks in the draft, it would appear they are convinced they cannot get the player they covet at No. 4. Most mock drafts project the team to draft Israeli-Serbia star Deni Avdija with the current selection, and that pick would seemingly make sense based on the team’s current needs.
Avdija is a playmaking small forward who can probably play some power forward in today’s NBA. Most importantly, he’s an excellent ballhandler and passer–especially in transition–and a player who seemingly has a great upside. If this is who the Bulls are fixated on, but yet they are still willing to trade up, they may have intel or reason to believe the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors or Charlotte Hornets are also interested in Avdija. Perhaps even another team is willing to trade up to leapfrog the Bulls to select him.
In any case, that could be the cause of the reported sense of urgency.
There’s also a chance the Bulls could have their eye on a player like Georgia scoring machine Anthony Edwards. He’s slated to go No. 1 overall and has drawn some comparisons to Dwyane Wade and Donovan Mitchell. If he turns out to be as good as either of those two guys–especially Wade–he’d probably be worth trading up to get. In watching him in his only season at Georgia, it’s clear Edwards doesn’t lack confidence.
He’s a pure scorer who will almost certainly evolve into a 20-point-per-game guy at some point in his career, but not all high-scoring players are created equally. There are many players who ascend near or close to that level but rarely affect their teams’ bottom line. Andrew Wiggins is one that comes to mind. Hopes are high that Edwards won’t be Wiggins-like in that respect.
There’s also a chance the move up could mean chasing LaMelo Ball. The popular prospect might be the best passer in the draft. At 6’8″, he has elite size for the point guard position. Because he didn’t play college basketball, there is something of a question about the level of competition he’s faced, but his skill set is intriguing, and there is undoubtedly some star potential.
Who Could Be Moved?
Obviously, the Bulls would have to include their No. 4 pick in any trade up, but they will also need to include a player asset. Quite honestly, with a new management group and coaching staff, there is no player who would appear to be untouchable.
There is speculation on Zach LaVine being packaged in a deal to the Brooklyn Nets. Lauri Markkanen and even Coby White, who has shown flashes of star potential could also be included. The player potentially included in this deal would have to be one of value considering the team willing to deal with the Bulls would be taking a pick lower in the draft.
This deal could signal a major change to the teams’ current roster, and that’s especially the case if it is LaVine or White. Stay tuned as we move closer to the draft, which is expected to take place on Wednesday, November 18, but that date could still change,