2021 Draft Picks:
Despite pushing their chips to the middle of the table with their trade-deadline deal for Orlando All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls did not chase down a playoff or even Play-In Tournament spot. They actually slipped from 10th in the East to 11th, missing their postseason goal. Yet by winning five of their last seven games, and going 9-8 over the season’s final month, Chicago cost itself valuable lottery chances. Now they’re missing their first-round pick, too, a top-4 protected selection that wound up No. 8 and conveyed to the Magic in the Vucevic trade. Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has had to shift his improvement hopes from a Draft focus to free agency and possibly more trades.
.472 — The Bulls had the league’s biggest differential between their record against the 15 teams that finished at or below 0.500 (24-12, 0.667) and their record against the 15 teams that finished above 0.500 (7-29, 0.194). Only Houston (6-33) had a worse record against the latter group.
Barring a maneuver, this will be Chicago’s first time without a pick in the first-round since 2005. That’s tough because this team — after four years of rebuilding, with a gaping hole at point guard — needs all the help it can get. Coby White has shown he’s more of a shooting guard, with no reliable alternative on hand. Despite Zach LaVine’s and Vucevic’s offensive-minded games, the Bulls ranked 21st at that end (compared to 12th defensively). Karnisovas does have a lot of moving parts to play with, with LaVine looking for a contract extension, Lauri Markkanen a candidate for change of scenery, last year’s No. 4 pick, Patrick Williams, due to show assertiveness on offense, and more. The Bulls do hold the No. 38 pick, so a second-round sleeper on par with Daniel Gafford (their guy at that spot in 2019, pre-Karnisovas) would keep Draft night from being a complete snooze.
G: Tomas Satoransky
G: Coby White
G/F: Troy Brown Jr.
G/F: Zach LaVine
F: Al-Farouq Aminu
F: Patrick Williams
F: Thaddeus Young
C: Nikola Vucevic
G: Ryan Arcidiacono (team option)
G: Devon Dotson (restricted)
G: Adam Mokoka (restricted)
G: Denzel Valentine (unrestricted)
G/F: Javonte Green (restricted)
G/F: Garrett Temple (unrestricted)
F/C: Cristiano Felicio (unrestricted)
F/C: Lauri Markkanen (restricted)
F/C: Daniel Theis (unrestricted)
> 2021 Free Agent Tracker
2020: Patrick Williams (4), Marko Simonovic (44)
— by Steve Aschburner