Bulls Rumors: Latest Trade Reports Before 2019 NBA Draft Lottery

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 14, 2019

John Paxson, Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, talks with reporters during an end-of-season news conference Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Chicago. The Bulls produced one of the worst records in franchise history in the second season of their rebuild. That's certainly not the way they envisioned it. Now that it's over, Paxson discusses where they go from here. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls enter Tuesday's NBA draft lottery with the fourth-best odds to earn the No. 1 pick. 

Like many of the teams that did not have one of the three worst regular-season records, the Bulls are hoping they receive a bit of luck and move up into the top three positions. 

Chicago has a 12.5 percent chance to win the top overall selection under the new lottery rules in which the three worst regular-season teams all have a 14 percent chance to win. 

If the Bulls do not jump into the top three, they could explore a trade to fill a positional need.

After the end of the regular season, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported the team had initial trade conversations with the Los Angeles Lakers regarding Lonzo Ball. 

LM Otero/Associated Press

On Monday, Cowley added some details to his earlier reporting and stated if the Bulls slipped into the No. 3 to No. 6 range in the lottery, they could check in with the Lakers on Ball's status. 

With rumored attention directed at a young point guard, one has to assume Chicago would covet Murray State point guard Ja Morant if it moved up to the No. 2 pick in the lottery. 

Drafting the 19-year-old would solve the franchise's point guard problem, and he would be another piece to add to a young core headlined by Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter. 

If the Bulls do not experience a jump from the No. 4 pick, they are in a more complicated situation since the next point guard prospect on the board is Vanderbilt's Darius Garland, who missed most of his freshman season with an injury. 

Chicago might not want to take a flier on an injured prospect when it can find a way to negotiate a deal for a player who already has NBA experience. 

No matter which direction the Bulls choose to go in their point guard search, they are looking for an upgrade from Kris Dunn. 

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson told Cowley that the franchise has not given up on Dunn, but he did concede the club has to get better at the point: 

"We have not given up on Kris. I think he has defensive abilities. But we have to get better at that position—there's absolutely no question in my mind. He has an opportunity this summer to improve his game, come back with the mindset of being a true push guard, getting us to play with pace. I do see our starting lineup with three legitimate three-point shooters in Zach [LaVine], Lauri [Markkanen] and Otto [Porter], [so] a point guard who can get those guys opportunities will be a priority."

Ball would be an ideal addition to Chicago's collection of young stars, but it will likely be hard to pry him away from the Lakers. 

With Jason Kidd on Frank Vogel's coaching staff, L.A. has a mentor for Ball to further advance his game. 

One has to think the Lakers would not have made that coaching arrangement if they had any plans to trade their young point guard. 

If the Bulls stay at No. 4 in the lottery, they could take a risk on Garland or go after one of Jarrett Culver, De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. 

The selection of a wing player would force Chicago to go into the free-agent market for a point guard. 

But a dive into free agency for an experienced point guard would cost the Bulls more than a draft pick, which is why drafting Morant or trading for a player like Ball is ideal at the moment.

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