Chicago Bulls: Being careful about trading up in 2019 NBA Draft

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In capitalism, the market sets the price of goods in an industry. The same goes for draft capital in the NBA.

The most recent example of trading up in the draft was the Dallas Mavericks infamous move to acquire Luka Doncic from Atlanta in exchange for Trae Young and a top-five protected pick in 2019. In a nutshell, the Mavericks gave up what ended up being a top-ten selection in 2019 to move up two spots (from five to three) in the 2018 Draft.

Granted, the price to move up in last year’s draft could be more costly due to the fact that the player pool in this year’s draft is significantly shallower. However, this trade is likely the standard for moving up this year.

If one were to take a poll of Mavericks fans and ask them if the Luka Doncic move was worth forfeiting a top-ten pick in this year’s draft, the vast majority would say it was a phenomenal move for them. However, as previously stated, this draft has a significant drop-off after the third overall pick.

The question that the front office must ask themselves is if there is a prospect worthy of two top ten selections over the next two seasons. If Chicago were to make a deal for the 4th pick in exchange for the seventh pick and a 2020 top-five protected pick, I am not sure that any of the players available would make such a big difference in Chicago that they would be propelled into a top-twenty NBA team. In fact, I am positive of this.

The harsh reality we have to face as Bulls fans is that this rebuild is not over. Rome was not built in a day, and neither is a championship roster. The Bulls are extremely unlikely to land a max-level free agent this summer due to the amount of cap space- and that’s okay. Another lottery pick is more than likely on the horizon for next season.

Giving up this lottery pick for a player who is not a sure-fire franchise changer is not a wise move, as the pick that is forfeited could end up being very high in next year’s draft. Anyone who reads my work knows that I have been high on Darius Garland a long time- much longer than the vast majority of the media. However, I feel uncomfortable forfeiting would could be a very valuable 2020 pick, especially in a class loaded with point guards.

So if the Bulls stay put at seven, does that mean they will have to settle for a player other than Garland?