Bulls Go For Gordon;
Deal for Deng
Chicago picks Ben Gordon and Chris Duhon;
Adds Luol Deng via trade with Phoenix
Photos (6/26): Gordon, Deng & Duhon at the White Sox-Cubs Game
6/25: Less than 24 hours after they were selected in NBA Draft 2004, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Chris Duhon were at the Berto Center to meet their new coaches, a few new teammates and, of course, the media. “We need guys who are ready to come in and contribute and give us some minutes and some time and help us win basketball games,” John Paxson said. “I’m confident that they will.”
6/24: With the third pick in NBA Draft 2004, the Chicago Bulls selected Ben Gordon, a 6-2 guard out of the University of Connecticut. Gordon is considered to be an excellent scorer, but also has the ability to find open teammates. His unbelievable athletic ability has made him an explosive penetrator and a good rebounder.
Video: Bulls Select Gordon:
Bulls Acquire Deng from Suns | Bulls Add Duhon at No. 38
Final NBA Draft Board
Then, about two hours after Phoenix drafted at seventh overall, Chicago announced a deal in which the Bulls’ received Duke's Luol Deng in exchange for one of the second-round picks (No. 31), a conditional future first-rounder and an undisclosed sum of cash. Deng is an excellent athlete with an NBA-ready body. A pure small forward, he is considered to be incredibly quick with a nice mid-range shooting touch.
“Our goal this draft was to get two players out of the draft,” Bulls GM John Paxson said after the selections were made. “If we could have done something to acquire a veteran, we obviously would have gone that route. Some things that we had out there fell through. We feel like we come out of this with some things that we really need. When we look at our basketball team right now, we need scoring, shooting, and toughness… we need guys who have a passion for the game and have high basketball IQs. We feel we found those guys tonight.”
The Bulls introduced their 2004 NBA Draft picks on Friday, June 25, 2004 at the Berto Center in Deerfield, IL.
NBA Draft Board | More Coverage: NBA.com: Draft 2004
Mock Drafts: Deng and Iguodala Possible Picks
Paxson Q & A: "I feel good where we’re at right now"
Draft Prospect Profiles: A-H | I-R | S-Z
Following the NBA Pre-Draft Camp, held June 8-11 in Chicago, private workouts at the Berto Center resumed on June 15, when Josh Childress, Ben Gordon and several others visited the Bulls. More recently, Duke SF Luol Deng worked out for the team on the 17th and Arizona SG Andre Iguodala visited the Bulls on the 19th.
"We're exploring everything," said Bulls general manager John Paxson on the 15th. "Whether we keep the pick or move the pick, there are a lot of options."
Bulls Pre-Draft Workout List
May 26: 2004 NBA Draft Lottery
June 22: Charlotte Expansion Draft
June 24: NBA Draft 2004 | New York City
July 16-24: Rocky Mountain Revue Summer League
Playmaker Gordon NBA Ready
“I’m so happy to be playing for an organization like the Chicago Bulls with such a winning tradition,” Gordon said on a teleconference with media at the Berto Center on Thursday night. “Hopefully myself and Luol Deng will be able to come in and uplift the franchise. Luol is a very competitive player and he’s going to bring a winning attitude, just like myself, to the team.”
Gordon, who is listed at 6-2 but said to play bigger than his size, will be paired with the Bulls’ top pick from last year’s Draft, Kirk Hinrich, in the backcourt.
“Those are reasonable questions to ask,” Gordon stated when asked about and how he’ll fit in with the incumbent point guard. “But I think that once I get out on the court and show people what I can do that those things will start to go away.”
If there is one thing he proved while at UConn, it was that he could put the ball in the hole. Gordon ranks as the sixth all-time leading scorer in Connecticut history (1,795 points) and is the school’s all-time leader with 242 three-point goals made and ranks second in career three-point shooting percentage at 42.3 percent. In addition, he scored 20 or more points 39 times in his career, topping the 30-point mark five times.
“Scoring is definitely one of my strong points,” Gordon said. “It’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and it’s a role I’m comfortable with. However I can help the Bulls; that is what I’m going to try and do. I’m a playmaker, a guy who can [pass and score]. And I think that is an advantage, rather than coming in and only being a guy who can only distribute the ball.”
- Adam Fluck, Bulls.com