Undoubtedly, fans of the Chicago Bulls felt cheated when the NBA lottery results were revealed. They had the fourth-worst record in the entire National Basketball Association, and yet they fell three spots to seventh overall. Instead of drafting Zion Williamson or Ja Morrant, arguably the two best players in the draft this year, the Bulls are going to have to dig deep and find someone to add their young core.
The good news is that the Bulls have actually been good at drafting and developing their young talent. Much to the dismay of fans, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf did say that John Paxson and Gar Forman have done a really good job when it comes overall draft results. So the question remains: What are they going to do? Here are the three most likely scenarios for the Bulls come draft day.
The Athletic had their sixth, and final, version of their mock draft released, and they had the Bulls selecting Coby White, out of North Carolina. White, a 6-5 point guard, would be a pretty good selection for Chicago, considering that they do need a good point guard to match up with Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. He’s got the potential to play on and off the ball, and is used to the high-octane and fast-paced offense Chicago adopted during the season.
White has a high ceiling factor, as shown during his one and only year at UNC. Over the course of 35 games, White averaged nearly 29 minutes a game, 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists on 42% shooting. Despite a horrible start, he set a freshman record by putting up three 30+ point games. That wasn’t the only record he broke, as the freshman record for three-pointers in an entire season was also shattered by White. He adapted and improved as the year went on.
There’s also a rumor that the Bulls made a promise to draft White with the 7th pick, similar to what they did with Chandler Hutchison last season. Based off of that, it seems all but guaranteed that Chicago will draft White if he is still available. For arguments sake, let’s see who else they could possibly grab.
Even though the Bulls need a point guard, there’s always free agency and trades to find those players. If Chicago were to go through with that route, then it would possibly open up the door to drafting Jarret Culver, a shooting guard out of Texas Tech University, provided he’s still there.
Culver really burst onto the scene with TTU’s rise to the NCAA Championship game loss to Virginia this past season. He’s 20-years old, averaged 18.5 points per game, added 6.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and even throwing in 1.4 steals. In addition, he provides some great defense, as noted by the Athletic’s scouting guide. His hands are pretty good and he can make a play if he has too.
The downside is that Culver isn’t a great shooter by any means. He made about 30% on his three-point attempts, which would be lower in the NBA. Thankfully, the Bulls have two established shooters with Markkanen and LaVine, which means he would be able to use his ability to drive the lane and get to the rim that much valuable. He’s most likely won’t be there come draft night, but anything is possible.
Move up in the draft
According to all reports, this seems to be one of the more likely scenarios that will happen. Chicago has made it clear that nearly everyone on their roster, save for Markkanen and Carter Jr, are available for trade. The New Orleans Pelicans are aggressively shopping on their newly acquired number four overall pick for some more help. The Bulls have been rumored to want to move up in the draft.
So could they meet and make a swap of picks? The Bulls would likely have to throw in the 7th overall pick, a future pick or one of their younger, cost-controlled players to make it happen. The most likely candidate to be traded would be LaVine, as he is signed to one of the more team-friendly deals in the league. Is it worth it to draft Darius Garland?
These are the three most likely scenarios I can see happening for Chicago. As for the most likely one, I have a feeling Chicago is going to trade up in the draft. I think they are going to trade with the Pelicans for the number four overall pick, and give up their 7th-overall pick and Zach LaVine. They will use that pick to select Garland.