Chicago Bulls: 3 biggest draft mistakes by Arturas Karnisovas

Donovan Mitchell, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Donovan Mitchell, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Emmanuel Mudiay (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Emmanuel Mudiay (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

3) Biggest draft mistakes Chicago Bulls VP of basketball ops Karnisovas made: Betting the house on Emmanuel Mudiay

Rolling the dice on the international prospect pool is very well something that Karnisovas could do with the Bulls in the 2020 NBA Draft. This looks like a very strong international pool of prospects in this draft class, including the likes of Maccabi Tel Aviv shooting guard/wing Deni Avdija, French point guard Killian Hayes, and FC Barcelona shooting guard Leandro Bolmaro, among others.

Before we look into what Karnisovas could do if he drafted someone like Hayes or Avdija fourth overall come the night of Nov. 18, we should look back on what he’s done with the international prospect pool in the past.

Really the first big whiff that Karnisovas had as a lead voice in the Nuggets front office in the draft among the international prospect pool was back in 2015. On the night of the 2015 NBA Draft, Karnisovas rolled the dice by picking the 6-foot-3 and 200 pound point guard product out of Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, TX, Emmanual Mudiay.

Karnisovas and the Nuggets selected Mudiay seventh overall in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. He was picked ahead of other current NBA standouts like former Texas Longhorns center Myles Turner, Louisville Cardinals forward Montrezl Harrell, Kentucky Wildcats guard Devin Booker, etc. It’s hard to swallow missing that pool of prospects for a player in Mudiay that didn’t pan out well at all for the Nuggets.

This was likely the biggest whiff in general that Karnisovas had during his time with the Nuggets front office.

I do want to mention that while Mudiay was a bad pick for the Nuggets in hindsight, he is starting to improve his game over the last 18 months or so. He could still be a solid role player and floor general off the bench for at least a decade in the NBA. Patience rules all with his development. It is also important to note that no general manager is ever going to hit on every prospect.

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