Golden State Warriors forward Jordan Bell scored eight points and made four of his five attempts from the field in his team's season opener.
Chicago Bulls fans watching likely wondered why their team elected not to add Bell when they had the chance. Executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson shed light on the reasoning behind that Thursday during an appearance on the Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score, via Cody Westerlund of CBS Chicago.
"We had our board up there, and we were sitting there with Jerry and Mike [Reinsdorf] and we said, 'Here's five players in the second round that we really value,'" Paxson said. "And when we got to that pick, those five players were gone. And you know, sometimes when you're dealing in a situation with where you are looking ahead to the future, you have to build up some equity with decisions that you make."
"Sometimes you have to take a opportunity where you build equity within the organization for future decisions," he continued.
Westerlund explained Chicago traded its second-round pick in the 2017 draft to the Warriors for $3.5 million instead of taking Bell.
Equity or not, the Bulls could use talented young players as they begin a rebuilding process following the departures of Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo this past offseason. Bell is just 22 years old and showed flashes of promise during the preseason and Golden State's first contest of the 2017-18 campaign.
Chicago could also use more depth at the power forward spot before its own season opener Thursday against the Toronto Raptors, considering Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic will not be available for the foreseeable future.
Portis was suspended eight games following a practice altercation with Mirotic, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, and the team's statement regarding the incident said Mirotic suffered "a concussion and maxillary fractures" and will likely require surgery.
While Chicago's forward rotation is a mess, the Warriors added another talented piece to a core that has already dominated the NBA the last three seasons with two championships and another NBA Finals appearance.
At least the Bulls front office has its "equity," though, as it hopes for better days to come.
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