Today marks the three year anniversary of the most indefensible move of the decade for the Chicago Bulls. Let’s take another look at it.
Three years ago today, the Chicago Bulls made a huge move on draft night. They traded their star player, Jimmy Butler, and the 16th overall pick to Minnesota and got Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the 7th overall pick in return. This was the trade that made headlines, but the Bulls made another move later in the draft that needs to be brought to light again.
Of course, I’m talking about the Bulls drafting Jordan Bell with the 38th pick and then trading him to the Golden State Warriors for $3.5 million in cash considerations.
This move didn’t have the ripple effect that a lot of moves had, but it’s the most indefensible move the franchise has made in the last decade. Sure, second-round picks usually don’t pan out, but sometimes, they’re franchise-changers.
Let’s look at the Denver Nuggets. They’re 43-22 this season and have a legitimate shot at making a title run in Orlando. Their best player, Nikola Jokic, was a second-round pick. That’s why you don’t just give away second-rounders. Every once in awhile someone special comes along. If you’re using second-round picks to beef up trades for players or other picks, then by all means, knock yourself out. But don’t give up a second-rounder for cash considerations, especially when you’re at the beginning stages of a rebuild. It’s simply foolish.
There wasn’t anyone like Jokic in the second round of the 2017 draft, so it’s not like the Bulls missed out on a franchise guy, but there were some really solid role players that were available for the Bulls to snag. Some notable ones:
- Dwayne Bacon
- Thomas Bryant
- Dillon Brooks
- Monte Morris
Bacon and Bryant don’t exactly jump off the TV screen, but they’re solid guys you can use in the rotation. Brooks broke out this season for Memphis, turning himself into a legitimate NBA wing. Morris has proven to be one of the most solid backup point guards in the league. I’d rather have any one of those guys than $3.5 million in cash considerations.
For the record, I’d also rather have Jordan Bell. I know the Bulls only drafted him to trade to the Warriors, but he’s shown he can give teams valuable minutes in short bursts. He would’ve looked nice in a Bulls uniform.
Another thing about the Jordan Bell trade: As a general rule of thumb, if the best and smartest franchise in the NBA is offering you cash considerations for a draft pick, just hang on to that draft pick. Even if you don’t see the benefit in the pick, if the Warriors do, that should tell you something.
Again, this move didn’t have a huge ripple effect on the league or even the Bulls, but it’s still completely indefensible. No smart front office would make that move.
Happy three year anniversary of a public display of incompetence, Bulls front office!