NBA Draft 2011, Chicago Bulls: Time To Up the Ante

Mark SkibaContributor IIIJune 20, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Klay Thompson #1 of the Washington State Cougars shoots over Darnell Gant #44 of the Washington Huskies in the first half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Dwight Howard traded to Chicago—dream on.

Bulls sign Jamal Crawford or Jason Richardson in free agency—recipe for disaster.

O.J. Mayo, Monta Ellis or Andre Iguodala running around the backcourt with Derrick Rose—very little smoke, no fire.

So, how will the Chicago Bulls take that next step towards their championship quest?

The next step will come this Thursday as the 2011 NBA draft takes place. The Bulls, at this moment, are scheduled to make picks 28 and 30 in the first round.

Klay Thompson needs to be in a Bulls uniform at the end of draft night. While he is being projected as a lottery pick, the Bulls need to up the ante and do what is needed to make the jump up the first round.

While it is rumored that teams all over the lottery are wanting to trade down or out of the first round completely (due to the lack of talent in this draft), the Bulls should take advantage of the opportunity.

If no teams are biting for cash and two late first-round picks, then in my opinion the Bulls need to throw in the sweetener—the sweetener being the future first-round pick from the Charlotte Bobcats.

So I must be crazy, right?

Trading three picks for one player who may or may not be good?

The logic behind it is simple: The Bulls already have a rotation set, and role-players galore. Picks 28 and 30 are not going to land them anyone who can crack the Bulls rotation next season—unless someone gets injured. The future Bobcats pick can come as early as the 2012 draft or as late as the 2016 draft. Why hang on to it and possibly wait five more years?

The time to win is now.

Klay Thompson can help the Bulls win for the next four years, at a relatively cheap rookie salary that will not hurt the Bulls cap-wise with whatever the new CBA throws at them.

While he makes sense from a salary standpoint, what he does on the court is just as good. He has great shooting form, from mid-range jump shots to the NBA three-point line. He is an excellent passer and can also handle the ball.

While his athleticism is average, his high basketball IQ and length help him get to the rim offensively. Defensively he may have some trouble guarding quicker and more athletic players, but with the Bulls' commitment to team defense he should fit right in, especially under coach Tom Thibodeau.

The Bulls had trouble scoring in the playoffs when the game became more of a half-court grind. Klay Thompson, while not great in the open court, would give a lot of help to Derrick Rose and company as a spot-up shooter, running off screens or as a passer.

If the Bulls are the mold, it is time to add Klay to the mix.