The Chicago Bulls are in an interesting position going into the 2013 NBA Draft. They hold the 20th pick in a draft that’s considered extremely weak, so there’s been a fair amount of speculation that they might trade it. Or, they might look to take a young big man to provide depth behind Joakim Noah, who was severely overworked last season. Or, they might look for a wing to back up Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler. Nobody seems to really know for sure, but the smart money seems to be on taking a big man.
We here at Pippen Ain’t Easy have done some breaking down of potential draft prospects, so if you’d like to know about Jeff Withey, Gorgui Dieng, Mason Plumlee, or Allen Crabbe, please follow those links.
Now, on the trade rumor front, there are a couple of seemingly substantial rumors floating around. One definitely involves the 20th pick, the other is less clear, so we’ll start with the former.
ESPN’s Marc Stein has reported the Bulls are trying to acquire Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets for the 20th pick. I actually like this trade in and of itself — Robinson went fifth overall just last year and while he struggle for much of the year, I would blame the Sacramento Kings’ dysfunction and a lack of playing time in Houston for most of that. He’s big, he’s long and I like the potential of a Robinson-Taj Gibson pairing off the bench. However, Mr. Stein also has reported that if the Bulls acquire Robinson, he’ll be headed elsewhere.
This brings us to our next rumor, that the Bulls are in the market for Portland Trailblazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Those of you who remember the 2006 draft may recall that the Bulls originally drafted Aldridge with the 2nd pick of the draft — Thanks, Isaiah Thomas! — before flipping him to Portland for Tyrus Thomas and Victor Khryapa.
Aldridge is reportedly growing disenchanted with losing in Portland. The Bulls have the salaries to make this work, as long as they’re willing to part with Carlos Boozer or Luol Deng — hint: they are — and have just enough other assets to make such a deal palatable. If they go all out, they could offer Deng/Boozer, the future Charlotte pick they own — thanks to trading Tyrus Thomas, funnily enough — the rights to Spanish star Nikola Mirotic and maybe some future draft picks in exchange for Aldridge. Maybe if they get Robinson, they could include him also. Or maybe Robinson would be headed somewhere else. It’s very hard to say.
Anyway, tonight’s draft should be interesting, if only because nobody seems to know for sure what anybody else will do. Tune in to ESPN at 6:30 central time.