(670 The Score) The NBA Draft looms Wednesday evening, and the Bulls hold the No. 4 pick, their highest selection since they nabbed Derrick Rose at No. 1 overall in 2008.
What the new regime of executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley might do is anyone’s guess. Since being hired by the Bulls in mid-April, Karnisovas has been hard to predict. He quickly filled out his front office with new faces but also kept several members of the old guard. While Bulls fans went bonkers calling for the firing of coach Jim Boylen immediately, Karnisovas waited to do so until August. After methodically interviewing 10 or more candidates for the coaching vacancy and with speculation growing that the Bulls would hire a young up-and-coming assistant, Karnisovas pounced and chose Billy Donovan as his team’s new leader after he parted ways with the Thunder.
So what the Bulls may do in the draft is anyone’s guess. Because we don’t play favorites but like to keep you updated, we figured we’d share many of the latest rumors here. You can be the judge of what you think might happen.
Would Bulls make a splash by trading up to No. 1?
The Bulls are in dire need of a point guard of the future who uplifts others, and LaMelo Ball is the best playmaker in this draft. The only way for the Bulls to feel confident to land him is by moving up to No. 1, as he’s projected my many to go there.
The Bulls have had discussions with the Timberwolves about moving up to No. 1, according to LegionHoops. What the Wolves might desire is unclear. Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr., 21, would seem to be redundant with Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns. Chicago’s new regime is high on power forward Lauri Markkanen, according to reports from ESPN, and guard Zach LaVine already had one stint in Minnesota, so those two wouldn't figure to be logical candidates to be moved.
Bulls have talks with Warriors about moving up to No. 2
The Bulls have also inquired with the Warriors about moving up from No. 4 to No. 2, Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer reported Wednesday. The talks have been centered on Chicago sending Carter and the No. 4 pick to Golden State for No. 2.
It’s worth noting this rumor could be planted from the Warriors’ side in an effort to drum up interest and strong offers from others teams. It’s no secret that the Warriors have a desire to trade out of the No. 2 spot in an attempt to balance their current championship window with their long-term needs.
League executives believe the Bulls would be eyeing Memphis center James Wiseman at No. 2, O’Connor reported, though Ball would seem to be in play here if he’s still available.
Teams inquiring about Zach LaVine
The 76ers have inquired about LaVine but were rebuffed by the Bulls, Vince Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported.
LaVine has been a hot name in the rumor mill recently, with the Mavericks also expressing interest, according to reports. He has two seasons left on his contract at $19.5 million annually, which is a fair number. LaVine averaged 25.5 points and shot 38% on 3-pointers in 60 games last season.
LaVine’s trade value is probably at its peak right now, given his good health, his big production recently and that an acquiring team would have him on the roster for two playoff runs.
Noise growing about Patrick Williams
There has been increasing talk around the NBA in recent days that the Bulls are zeroing in on Florida State forward Patrick Williams with the No. 4 pick, K.C.
Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago has reported. Donovan is a big fan of Williams’, Johnson added.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Williams would help fill a big need the Bulls have at small forward, where Otto Porter Jr. is in the final season of his contract and where the oft-injured Chandler Hutchison has disappointed. Williams averaged 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in all 29 games that he played last season. He was named the ACC 6th Man of the Year. He shot 32% on 3-pointers, a mark that needs to uptick. Scouts believe he has the form to improve in that regard, and his 83.8% free-throw percentage is a promising indicator on that front.