NBA Draft

2024 NBA Draft: Bulls confident in adding impact player

Latest chatter surrounding a franchise in flux, who currently own 11th pick in Wednesday's 1st round

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

Providence guard Devin Carter’s stock is rising in advance of this week’s NBA Draft, a two-day affair that begins Wednesday with the Chicago Bulls---at one point linked to Carter---currently slotted to select 11th overall.

Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham is the name currently linked to the Bulls in the most mock drafts, which, befitting a class loaded with potential but not surefire starpower, are wildly disparate.

In the direct aftermath of last month’s NBA draft lottery, USC guard Isaiah Collier landed in speculation tied to the Bulls.

Notice a trend? All guards, linked to a team swimming in them.

Granted, all of this predraft chatter occurred before the Bulls traded Alex Caruso for Josh Giddey, who will be introduced by the Bulls virtually on Tuesday afternoon. And it’s well documented that the Bulls are shopping Zach LaVine.

Still, for a team that employs LaVine (for now), Giddey, Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, Jevon Carter, Lonzo Ball and a former first-round pick who needs development work in Dalen Terry, guarded optimism has a whole new meaning.

Teams typically get into trouble when they bypass the standard “best player available” philosophy and draft for need. Particularly in this draft, with talent evaluation beauty in the eye of the beholder, a surprising player could be available at No. 11.

Still, in a first round that’s projected to be guard-heavy, it will be intriguing to see what the Bulls do. If Cody Williams is available, he fits the “tools-y” wing that this management regime has seemed to favor in personnel decisions. So would Ron Holland, who, like Williams, is young and needs development.

Other wing possibilities who are projected for later in the first round but could make sense for the Bulls: Illinois and Lincoln Park High School star Terrence Shannon Jr. and Tyler Smith, who showed his “3-and-D” potential for the G League Ignite.

Currently, the Bulls don’t own a second-round pick for Thursday. Last year, the Bulls traded to acquire the draft rights to Julian Phillips in the second round and there remains internal optimism for his potential.

League sources said the Bulls have held conversations to both move up and back in this draft, which isn’t atypical for this time of year and even less atypical for this type of draft. There is value all over the board, just waiting to be properly evaluated.

Following last month’s draft lottery, the Bulls exuded confidence that they would find value if they stayed at No. 11. They’ve worked out a wide variety of prospects following their in-season scouting process.

Giddey’s acquisition, which Artūras Karnišovas will address following Wednesday’s first round, could signal an open-mindedness to getting off the middle-of-the-road path of mediocrity that the Bulls are on currently. It certainly calls into question the future of DeMar DeRozan, who will be an unrestricted free agent on June 30 unless the Bulls re-sign him first. As of late last week, little momentum existed for a new deal.

Several rival executives are under the impression the Bulls will either re-sign or match any offers presented to restricted free agent Patrick Williams, who also fits with the potential new timeline that Giddey’s arrival suggests.

So does LaVine, who is, after all, a two-time All-Star and career 38 percent 3-point shooter who oozes athleticism. But that’s a story for another day. For now, the focus is on the long-term future, with some answers in the form of a first-round pick revealing itself on Wednesday.

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