Luol Deng has been subject of countless rumors in the past several weeks, most of them involving being shipped out for draft picks.
From Ian Whittell of ESPN:
But Deng, 27, did acknowledge that he's not dismissing recent reports suggesting the Bulls are willing to trade him for a top pick in Thursday's NBA draft, with speculation mounting that Chicago could send Deng to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the No. 7 overall pick.
I don't understand in the least how that move would make sense for the Bulls, unless there are pieces involved that would come to the Bulls to sweeten the pot.
But let's take this rumor at face value and evaluate it.
For one, you're getting rid of your second-best player, a solid, if not spectacular scorer from the wing and one of the best defensive small forwards in the NBA. And for what, some salary cap relief and a draft pick?
Plus, I absolutely loathe the seventh pick in this draft. The Bulls would be missing out on the top tier of players (Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes) and would be forced to reach slightly on a player given the team's needs.
Really, there isn't much drop off from the sixth to 25th pick in this draft. It may be deep, but you simply aren't getting great value if you hold a top-10 pick but miss out on the top tier of players.
Let's assume the Portland Trail Blazers select point guard Damian Lillard with the sixth pick. What players would the Bulls consider at seven?
Maybe, but he's not going to help the Bulls next year and has bust-potential scrawled on his forehead. The Bulls should pass on him.
Jeremy Lamb, Dion Waiters, Terrence Ross or Austin Rivers?
All possibilities, though I think Rivers is a terrible fit in Chicago, who already has a ball-dominant guard in Derrick Rose. Waiters and Ross will certainly score from the 2, but I think the Bulls would be better served with more versatility on the wing. Lamb's size, jump shot and athleticism makes him an option at the 2 or 3, and he would probably be the best fit.
But would you really trade Luol Deng for Jeremy Lamb? I don't think so.
I suppose the Bulls could always roll the dice on a player like Perry Jones III, but that would be dumber than taking a chance on Drummond in my opinion.
This is just a rumor, and the likelihood anything of this nature actually happens is probably pretty slim. But if this particular rumor were to come true, I would be left scratching my head at the decision.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets hit the mark more often than Spain's passing.