Bulls history includes a few entertaining draft-related stories. For example, the team was rumored to trade Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and the legendary Luc Longley (just kidding) to the Boston Celtics for the No. 3 and No. 6 picks back in 1997.
The deal, of course, never happened. And a year later, Pippen and Longley would help Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and the rest of the crew capture their second three-peat.
Okay, enough of the old school talk and let’s focus on present-day Bulls draft stuff. Will the team keep both of their first-round picks (No. 16 and No. 19 overall), or is it better to get rid of them and chase a much-needed scorer?
It’s time to play the always fun buy-or-sell game.
Trading Up to Land Gary Harris or Nik Stauskas
According to ESPN’s Chad Ford (subscription required), the Bulls have shown interest in trading for the Denver Nuggets’ No. 11 pick, which they would use on either Michigan State’s Gary Harris or Michigan’s Nik Stauskas.
The Nuggets continue to discuss moving this pick to the Chicago Bulls. If the Bulls get this pick, they'll grab either [Gary Harris] or Nik Stauskas here. They've also had several other discussions with teams about deals and seemed poised to move this pick. Harris, Stauskas and James Young seem to be focal points, as is Tyler Ennis. Right now I'd give the edge to Harris.
In such a deal, Chicago would have to send both of its first-round picks to Denver.
What’s up with all the love for the state of Michigan? Anyway, both Harris and Stauskas would be nice pickups for the Bulls, who need a shooting guard to pair with the returning Derrick Rose.
While the 6'4" Harris may not be the tallest shooting guard prospect, he’s an excellent two-way player, and it certainly isn’t easy to find someone who can contribute on both ends of the floor.
A decent shooter (35.2 percent from three-point land last season), Harris has the potential to become a solid “3 and D” guy at the next level.
Meanwhile, Stauskas is the epitome of a sharpshooter. The Big Ten Player of the Year hit 44.1 percent of his three-point attempts during his two-year career as a Wolverine.
He can do more than knock down jumpers, as he’s capable of putting the ball on the floor, finishing at the rim and making solid passes.
It’s unlikely that the Bulls move up in the draft since coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t a fan of playing rookies and the team is trying to clear as much cap space as possible. If the team does move their picks, it will be in a deal for a proven scorer.
Trade Both First-Round Picks for Future Firsts
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or maybe a gigantic mountain for the past few months, you’ve heard all the Carmelo Anthony-to-Chicago gossip.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders claims the Bulls are willing to trade their first-round picks for future first-rounders to free up cap space.
With the 16th and 19th picks, Chicago could land quality players like North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne and Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier. But to acquire a superstar free agent like Anthony, the Bulls will have to make sacrifices.
Plus, there’s basically a zero percent chance that two rookies would get playing time anyway.
In order to free up enough cap space, the Bulls must also either amnesty or trade Carlos Boozer, as well as make a few other moves, like dealing Mike Dunleavy and possibly Taj Gibson. Getting rid of the two draft picks is a good start, though.
Acquiring Arron Afflalo
Afflalo, 28, has two years left on his contract – including an Early Termination Option (ETO) provision next summer – and front office executives believe the Magic are prioritizing a trade for Afflalo over working to extend his contract.
The UCLA product is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 18.5 points while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from beyond the arc. And if he wasn’t playing for a struggling, rebuilding squad, he might have been named an All-Star.
Without a doubt, Afflalo could become the Bulls’ best shooting guard since Ben Gordon was in town. Last season, he scored at least 25 points 13 times, including 43 vs. the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 3.
In order to bring Afflalo to the Windy City, the Bulls would have to part with at least one of their first-round selections. But it’s unclear who else from Chicago would be involved in any trade package with Orlando.
Could the Bulls manage to acquire both Afflalo and Anthony? Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway doesn’t seem too convinced:
Adding both Afflalo and Anthony would be nearly impossible due to Chicago's salary structure. Carving out enough space to offer Anthony a max-level contract is a difficult proposition to begin with, one that may force the Bulls to trade forward Taj Gibson and amnesty Boozer.
Conway is right. It would be extremely difficult to reel in both players. More than likely, signing Anthony will be the Bulls' top priority this summer, so we’ll go ahead and sell this rumor.
All stats are from Basketball-Reference.com.
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