The results are in from the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery, and – Surprise! Surprise! – the Bulls were one of the lucky teams to jump into the top 4. Having picked 7th overall the past 3 drafts, it is refreshing to have any number other than 7, and to jump 3 spots to 4th overall, well, it made this Bulls fan very happy. It’s the proverbial cherry on top of the face lift this franchise has been undergoing.
New management. New coach (coming soon). New draft slot. It feels good to be a Bulls fan!
A lot of people have been calling this upcoming draft class “weak,” which seems a little harsh to me. It’s true, there is no obvious Luka Doncic or Zion Williamson type star waiting for their chance to shine in the NBA, but there are still a good number of solid prospects that might blossom into All-Stars with the right development. And I think the homogeneous nature of these prospects will play straight into the hands of the Chicago Bulls and their 4th pick overall.
I’m taking the glass half full approach to all of this.
With very few stand out stars available in this year’s draft, but a large number of intriguing prospects, no one has a very clear picture of who will be drafted where. This uncertainty makes the 4th pick a very flexible one to have. It could be a very attractive position to pick from for a team looking to trade up, and it’s not so far back that a team like the Golden State Warriors with the 2nd overall pick would scoff at swapping for it if the Bulls wanted to move up themselves. Long story short, 4 is still better than 7, even in a “weak” draft.
“So who are the big prospects that the Bulls might take a swing at with the 4th pick?” You might be asking.
Three players that I have seen taken within the top 5 of most mock drafts are: LaMelo Ball (brother of Lonzo), Anthony Edwards of Georgia, and James Wiseman the big man out of Memphis. Other players that get mentioned a lot in the top 5 of mock drafts include Deni Avidja from Maccabi Tel Aviv, Isaac Okoro of Auburn, Killian Hayes of Ulm (Germany), and Onyeka Okongwu of USC.
If the Bulls decide to hang onto the 4th pick they will probably end up with one of the prospects mentioned above.
I’m excited for this draft! It’s our first look at how Arturas and the Round Table evaluate talent, and what they look for in the skills and character of their draft picks. Do they want super athletes they can mold into basketball stars? Do they want players with a high basketball I.Q. that are ready to play from the get go? Do they want someone with strong defensive tendencies, or are they focused on building the offense? Are they looking to fill a position of need on the roster? Are they “best available” kind of pickers?
From early remarks by Karnisovas, it sounds like he and Marc Eversley are both “best available” kind of guys. Which is fine with me. Better to have a glut of talent on the roster, with redundancies at multiple positions, than to be talent starved and searching for players. A good coach will find a way to utilize redundant talent if it’s on the roster.
In the weeks to come, I’ll try to get into the specifics about the top prospects, and I’ll probably come up with my own big board, like I usually do, before the draft.
These are exciting times! I’m very happy with the new management, the new coach (coming soon), and the new draft position. It feels like the Bulls have a chance to do great things in the near future.
Until they do, thanks for reading, and GO BULLS!