Today marked the release of Chad Ford’s latest mock draft on ESPN. After the instant analysis of Ford’s latest hypothesis on prospects prospective landing spots readers began to take notice of some juicy rumors on speculations located within each teams analysis. Hello NBA rumors.The standout rumor to me was the one linking the Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets as potential trade partners on Draft Night.
According to Ford, the two teams have discussed a swap of Denver’s No. 11 pick for both of Chicago’s picks at Nos. 16 and 19. In the article, Ford is quoted as specifically saying, “Sources say the Nuggets have had serious discussions with the Bulls about swapping no. 11 for nos. 16 and 19. If the Bulls get this pick, they’ll grab either Harris or Stauskus here.”
While many have clamored over the depth of talent available in this year’s draft, if the Bulls feel a specific player fits better for this team, I endorse the decision to move up to grab him. Both Stauskus, and Harris are shooting guards capable of knocking it down from three. If shooting is the club’s top priority, they’d be hard pressed to find better players available in the draft.
With the opportunity to add one of the top players in Europe, Nikola Mirotic, this summer, the Bulls may be looking to limit their number of incoming rookies. Tom Thibodeau’s system is said to be difficult for even veteran players to adjust to and rookies often find themselves red-shirted for most of their first season. For this reason, the Bulls may be hesitant to go into the season with three to four roster spots committed to rookies.
NBA Rookies’ salary is determined by their position in the draft. The 11th pick for instance, is slotted to earn $1,834,100 in their first year. The 16th pick will earn $1,419,200 while the 19th pick will bring home $1,223,200. If the Bulls were to keep both their picks they’d be committing $2,642,400 of their cap to rookies, by trading up to 11, not only would they add a better player, they’d be saving $808,300.
It’s also possible however that this rumor has nothing to do with a player the Bulls are interested in but rather a pick they may be attempting to acquire in order to boost their package for one of the several players they’ve been linked to already this off-season. From now till draft day and beyond through July the NBA rumor mill hits its highest gear. New rumors are released daily compounding on or contradicting the previous day’s headlines.
Remember to never get too high or too low on reports this time of year, it’s not worth planning a parade or a protest over something that is potentially accidentally or intentionally misleading. For some this is an exciting time of year, for others it’s the cause of hair loss and stomach ulcers. I tend to enjoy the rumor mill and am simply pleased to see my favorite team listed amongst those actively exploring options to improve their team. Whether part of a bigger deal or simply a move designed to grab a specifically targeted player, moving up is a move I would fully endorse on draft night.