Chicago Bulls: 3 veterans worth trading the 7th pick for

Jrue Holiday Lonzo Ball Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jrue Holiday Lonzo Ball Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. Point Guard. 21.1 PTS, 6.4 AST, 21.4 PER. player. 211. Scouting Report. Mike Conley. 3

Memphis point guard Mike Conley continues to be one of the most underrated talents in the NBA.  As a veteran on a tanking team, most players would probably have mentally checked out for the year. Not Conley. At the age of 31, Conley went on to have statistically one of his best and most efficient seasons to date. There’s a lot of stock in having a guard whose game ages like fine wine.

The Chicago Bulls’ scavenger hunt for a starting caliber floor general is no secret. Take a moment and think about it. What are the Bulls looking to get from the point guard position? Playmaking? Conley has always had an impressive assist percentage and turns the ball over at a ridiculously low rate. Defense? Conley’s fully embraced the grit-n’-grind culture of the Grizzlies and been one of the better defensive guards in the league. Shooting? While he’s no Steph Curry, in his last 150 contests Conley has averaged an impressive 38 percent from deep on a high volume of 6.6 attempts per game.

Conley has been described as a player with a sort of “Spurs Culture” running through his veins. Considering his coaching roots, Coach Jim Boylen would likely be ecstatic to add a player that carries a presence similar to the roster of the 2003-14 Spurs (and really, wouldn’t any coach?).

At the trade deadline, the Grizzlies were reportedly interested in shipping Mike Conley out to Utah for a return package of a first-round pick, Dante Exum, and expiring deals. If true, the Chicago Bulls could benefit greatly by pursuing a similar deal. Memphis will be eager to unload Conley’s albatross contract and welcome in point guard of the future Ja Morant.

While many other teams might express concern over Conley’s age and salary, these factors actually work in the Bulls’ favor in a paradoxical way. Consider this, with Otto Porter on the payroll until 2021 free agency, Chicago won’t be spending big bucks until then. Conley’s contract is set to expire in the same offseason. Therefore, if the Bulls weren’t in play for max level free agents for the next two summers in the first place, wouldn’t it be beneficial to bring in a max-level player through trade?

Even better, due to these complications, the price for Conley has been brought significantly down. Forfeiting Kris Dunn, Felicio, and a pick that slipped in the lottery is a beggar’s price to pay for the former All-Defensive Team member. While giving up the seventh overall pick would be unfortunate after a season’s worth of embarrassing losses, no player projected to still be remaining on the board come the Bulls pick will likely ever scrape the surface of Conley’s talent.