The Chicago Bulls went all in at the NBA’s trade deadline, sending out multiple first-round picks and Wendell Carter Jr. in exchange for two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic.
It wasn’t enough, however, with the team still falling short of the play-in tournament at 31-41 on the year.
So, the front office walks into this offseason with a hefty to-do list. But the draft won’t take up much thought.
The Bulls’ first-round pick this year will convey to the Orlando Magic if it falls outside of the top-four, and they finished the year with the eighth-worst record, so consider it increasingly likely.
That’s the cost of doing business when you’re star shopping in the NBA.
But what if the Chicago Bulls’ first-round pick doesn’t convey to Orlando?
One analyst suggests that one prospect stands out among the rest as a must-target if luck bends their way.
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Jalen Suggs to Chicago?
In his latest for Bleacher Report, Best and Worst Landing Spots for Every Projected 2021 NBA Lottery Pick, Jonathan Wasserman went through the top-14 rated prospects in this year’s draft and talked best and worst landing spots.
The Chicago Bulls received a surprising mention, and not as the worst landing spot for any prospect, either.
No, Wasserman thinks that the Windy City is the premier destination for Gonzaga product, point guard Jalen Suggs:
The Bulls could move Coby White into the sixth man role and use Suggs next to Zach LaVine. Chicago could use the Gonzaga star’s ability to get downhill or create open shots for teammates in transition. His athleticism, passing and defense are better suited for Chicago’s starting lineup than White’s streaky shot-making.
The Bulls are widely expected to be shoppers in the point guard market this summer, so it makes sense that out of all possible prospects, that’s the position Wasserman pegged them for.
Suggs is coming off of a lone season at Gonzaga that saw him lead the Bulldogs to a national championship appearance. He averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
Suggs’ NBA Comparisons
Make no mistake. Even though he’s often rated the fourth-best prospect in this year’s draft, there’s as good a chance as any that he could walk out of this class as the best prospect in the years to come.
In his latest mock draft for The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor compared him to all of Brandon Roy, Chauncey Billups, and Jamal Murray. The Chicago Bulls would welcome any version of either of those three players today.
On his big board from the beginning of May, O’Connor had high praise then, too, with Suggs ranked third:
High IQ plus excellent skill and athleticism equals an NBA-ready player with All-Star upside.
Elsewhere, NBADraft.net pegged Suggs with a Jason Kidd comparison, citing his quickness and creation on offense.
Chicago’s Chances at the Pick Are Slim
With the eighth-worst record, the Chicago Bulls have got a 20.3 chance at a top-four pick, per Tankathon.com.
Anything short of that, and any dreams of Jalen Suggs in the Windy City are as good as dead. But, on the plus side, stranger things have happened, like the New Orleans Pelicans climbing to the first overall pick in 2019.
The NBA will hold its draft lottery on June 22nd at 8:30 PM est. It’s safe to say that all Bulls fans are going to want to pencil that date in on their summer calendars.
Outside of the start of free agency, it’ll be the most pivotal night of the offseason for Chicago.