Three trades the Bulls could make with their No. 7 pick

What teams might make a deal? What would the Bulls get for their No. 7 pick?
Cam Reddish walks on the court during a game.
by Sam Smith
Remind Me Later
Kia Bulls Draft Coverage 2019


The Bulls may keep the pick or make a trade to Atlanta, Boston, or Philadelphia.

The New Orleans Pelicans now have the No. 4 pick from the Anthony Davis trade, which doesn't become official until probably July due to technical issues. There's been considerable speculation the Pelicans will trade the pick for a veteran player to enhance their young roster. Thought it's not unanimous, most scouts believe Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland is the most likely selection at No. 4. The narrative lately is since the Pelicans traded for Lonzo Ball they do not need a point guard and will deal.

If Garland is the real deal, as most scouts suggest, many believe the Pelicans should take him since Jrue Holiday has an injury history. And Ball actually does, too. Plus, in this NBA you cannot have too many guards who can shoot and make plays. But if Garland is available, what would it take in trade? The presumption is the Bulls would be interested. It probably would cost the Bulls No. 7 pick and next year's No. 1 pick, perhaps protected top three. Worth the risk coming off a 22-win season? With the Pelicans' trades for Ball and Brandon Ingram and drafting Zion, perhaps the only player on the Bulls roster who would start for New Orleans, which is in a youth movement, would be Lauri Markkanen since Holiday is their shooting guard and they are committed to Ingram as their small forward. It would be for Markkanen center, which he doesn't like to play. Markkanen and No. 7 for No. 4? No way. Next!

Phoenix probably will offer No. 6 and Josh Jackson. The Jazz are among several teams likely to enter the bidding as well. Miami and Orlando likely would get in the bidding.

If the Bulls cannot move up to nab the player they most covet, whomever that may be, are they going to make it a third consecutive season taking who dropped to them at No. 7? They did well with Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. But is this the year to do what the Bulls rarely have done? Which is step back in the draft for two or more lesser picks and perhaps player? Go boom or bust risk?

The most likely scenario which has been much rumored is trading the No. 7 selection to the Atlanta Hawks for Nos. 10 and 17. The Hawks have three first round picks after having picked up one from the Nets on a salary dump. It's unlikely Atlanta uses all three. The Hawks also currently have No. 8. Perhaps adding No. 7 enables them to move up a few slots. It was Atlanta last year which dropped from No. 3 to No. 5 in a deal with Dallas that netted the No. 10 picks.

It's unlikely point guard Garland falls to No. 7. But point guard/shooting guard Coby White from North Carolina could be available at No. 7. Would the Bulls take him? White is considered one of the fastest players in the draft and an impressive scorer, though more a scoring guard than point guard. You play more my turn/your turn with a guard like him and Zach LaVine. Though that's worked well for the Portland Trailblazers with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

But if the Bulls aren't excited about White or Jarrett Culver or perhaps DeAndre Hunter, is it time to take a chance?

Bol Bol reacts during a play

Bol Bol reacts

Bulls trade No. 7 to Atlanta for Nos. 10 and 17.

Bulls select Sekou Doumbouya and Bol Bol. How about that John Paxson! It wouldn't be a traditional Bulls move, but it could yield incredible results. Or none at all. Doumbouya is a tremendous athlete who is certainly not ready at 18, but at 6-9 runs the floor, defends and finishes in the manner of, dare we say, a Scottie Pippen type. One issue is where the Bulls believe they are. If they are ready to step into contention, he's not. But he could become a star. Like Bol, who has incredible skills and size. Bol has an amazing shooting touch and is highly skilled for someone that size at 7-3. He had foot surgery, which is a concern even as scouts say he may have the biggest upside in the draft.

There's no certainty at No. 10. So it's possible Texas' athletic center Jaxson Hayes could be available or Duke's Cameron Reddish. If that occurs, maybe take one of those players to work into the rotation now and perhaps a future prospect like Bol Bol or maybe a talented and supposedly troubled player like USC shooting guard Kevin Porter with the No. 17 pick. There have been plenty of star players who were grabbed after the top 14.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker reacts during a play

Nickeil Alexander-Walker reacts

Bulls trade No. 7 to Boston for Nos. 14, 22 and a future pick.

Bulls select Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Bol Bol. Or if Bol Bol is not available perhaps Porter or since it's a question whether the Bulls would resign Robin Lopez a big man like Gonzaga's Brandon Clarke, Bruno Fernando from Maryland, Mfiondu Kabengele from Florida State or international center Goga Bitadze. Or maybe a short reach for a hustle guy like Virginia'a Ty Jerome, who is one of those tough guys without all the workout skills who just knows how to make plays. Alexander-Walker is the cousin of the Clippers Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He's also a good passer who'll be an NBA point guard. He doesn't have the great athlete abilities, but he is a playmaker who can run a team, a good shooter and intelligent player. It's also possible a prospect like Doumbouya falls to No. 14 given the uncertainties in this draft.

Jonathon Simmons #14 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball during the game against the Miami Heat on April 9, 2019 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

Jonhathon Simmons handles the ball

Bulls trade No. 7 to Philadelphia 76ers for Nos. 24, 33 and 34 and Jonathon Simmons.

It's not likely the Bulls would want to drop this far, though there is likely to be a high risk/high reward type like Bol Bol or Porter available at No. 24 with several big men since the Bulls need some size to complement Carter. Then they could add the high second rounders and grab off a risky prospect like Darius Bailey, the athletic high school phenom who skipped his one year or college. Perhaps Purdue's Carsen Edwards, the smallish shooter like Fred VanVleet. Maybe a risk on Auburn's Chuma Okeke, who was a top 20 pick until getting hurt in the NCAA tournament. The 76ers need to get off salaries with their pending free agent business. Simmons was a breakout shooting guard with the Spurs a few years back and then got a three-year deal from Orlando and went in the Markelle Fultz trade. He'd help fill out the bench. If this is one of those drafts, like some say, in which the player you see as 25 someone else sees as 10, then why not take him at 25?

Plus, the Bulls have their No. 38 selection, also. So then they can take a risk on 7-7 Tacko Fall even if he fails.

The Bulls have a core of starters with LaVine, Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr. Perhaps it's better for now to expand the roster with depth and players who one day have a chance to break through than just selecting one player and hoping. It could be an unusual draft week.

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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.


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