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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Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

2) Biggest draft mistakes Chicago Bulls VP of basketball ops Karnisovas made: Trading the pick of Donovan Mitchell

Definitely the biggest mistake in hindsight overall on this list for Karnisovas during his time with the Nuggets was shipping off the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft to the Utah Jazz. On draft night 2017, the Nuggets shipped off the 13th overall pick (which resulted in the selection of the former Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell) to the Jazz for a return of Tyler Lydon and and Trey Lyles.

That trade did not work out well at all for Karnisovas and the Nuggets. It’s ironic that the Jazz built pretty much the entirety of their current core from draft trades with the Nuggets. They landed the likes of Mitchell and star defensive standout center Rudy Gobert in brilliant draft trades with Karnisovas and the Nuggets four years apart.

By not only missing on the retention of Mitchell, but sending off the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft entirely, the Nuggets lost out on a boat load of talented players picked either in this spot, or later, in the draft. They missed out on the likes of Nets center Jarrett Allen (22nd pick), Miami Heat All-Star center Bam Adebayo (14th pick), and Atlanta Hawks standout big man John Collins (19th pick), among others.

Mitchell is a rising star in his own right, and is just 24 years of age entering the 2020-21 season. He got his first career All-Star nod last season and really broke through after the NBA’s season restart in the bubble at Disney World. He averaged 24.0 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.0 steals, during the 2019-20 regular season.

We can’t go without saying on this slide that Karnisovas did find some tremendous value in the second round of the 2017 draft, when he selected the former Iowa State Cyclones point guard Monte Morris. Ranking in the top 10 in win shares, box plus/minus rating, and player efficiency rating among players from this draft class, Morris was a great find for the Nuggets.

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