Currently without a first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, it seems the Chicago Bulls will have an opportunity, or multiple, to acquire one in the coming weeks.
All of the Golden State Warriors (seventh and 14th overall picks) New Orleans Pelicans (10th, Indiana Pacers (11th), and Memphis Grizzlies (17th) have been rumored as willing dealers.
Each club is after different things, which makes a trade with some of them more likely than others.
Take the Pelicans for example, who according to The Athletic’s Zach Harper, are looking to package their first-round pick in a deal for veteran players to place around Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson:
The Pelicans already have so many young guys, and people around the NBA are expecting them to move this pick for some veteran help, according to league sources. How significant of a player the 10th pick in this draft would bring back is where the confusion hits for a lot of people prognosticating this stuff.
His colleagues at The Athletic talked through four possible trades on Tuesday morning, with names like Buddy Hield, Collin Sexton, Malik Beasley, and Terrence Ross among the fabricated targets.
If those are the kinds of players that could persuade the New Orleans Pelicans into dealing their pick, couldn’t the Chicago Bulls make a competitive offer?
If the New Orleans Pelicans are after smart veterans with playoff experience, wouldn’t backup point guard Tomas Satoransky and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Thaddeus Young make sense?
More importantly, could the Chicago Bulls find a way to work point guard Lonzo Ball into the trade, given his free-agent status?
It’s no secret that they attempted to trade for the 22-year old at one, or potentially multiple points this season.
With that in mind, the potential framework of a draft-day blockbuster:
- Chicago Bulls receive: Lonzo Ball (sign-and-trade), 10th overall pick
- New Orleans Pelicans receive: Tomas Satoransky, Thaddeus Young, 2026 first-round pick
Chicago could offer a pick swap as well in either 2022, 2025, or 2027 and likely would willingly, given their clear affinity for Ball and the idea of his fit next to Zach LaVine.
And as things currently stand, it seems the Pelicans are prepared to lose the point guard this summer, for better or for worse, given Shams Charania of The Athletic’s most recent reporting:
New Orleans is unlikely to match a significant offer sheet on Ball, sources said. Ball, 23, is among the top point guards on the free-agent market. The Bulls and Clippers are expected to be among the teams interested in him, according to sources.
Netting a first-round pick in return for a player who was set to walk for nothing isn’t the worst consolation prize.
It’s not the sexiest deal, but Satoransky and Young would be legitimate good gets for New Orleans. They’re both defensive-focused, had some playoff experience, and even better, on expiring contracts.
And With the 10th Overall Pick…
The Chicago Bulls win twice over with this deal in setting themselves up to win now, as well as continuing to lay a foundation for the future.
Coby White and Patrick Williams make up the team’s current young core, and they’d be joined by whoever is picked at 10th.
In his latest mock draft for The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor has Corey Kispert going 10th overall to the Pelicans.
Zach Braziller of the New York Post has Franz Wagner going 10th in his latest.
And The Athletic’s Zach Harper has Josh Giddey available at 10th overall in his mock from earlier this week.
Any of those three players would make for fine additions to the Bulls, and project to be role players at a minimum.