Re-draft proves how badly Bulls botched 2018 NBA Draft

Chandler Hutchison, Chicago Bulls, 2018 NBA Draft (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Chandler Hutchison, Chicago Bulls, 2018 NBA Draft (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Armed with the No. 7 and No. 22 overall picks, the Chicago Bulls were primed to have a big night at the 2018 NBA Draft and set the tone for their future. But instead of bringing home two genuine building blocks for the future, the Bulls would draft Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison.

Fast forward four years to the present day and Carter Jr. now plays for the Orlando Magic and Hutchison is no longer even in the NBA. For what was a relatively stacked draft class, this was a monumental failure on Chicago’s behalf.

As we revisit that fateful night, Bleacher Report has taken on the task of re-drafting the entire 2018 draft class. Here’s a look at the first 22 picks in B/R’s re-draft, as Bulls fans are forced to suffer and imagine what could have been.

  1. Luka Doncic
  2. Trae Young
  3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  4. Deandre Ayton
  5. Mikal Bridges
  6. Robert Williams
  7. Jaren Jackson Jr.
  8. Wendell Carter Jr.
  9. Michael Porter Jr.
  10. Anfernee Simons
  11. Mitchell Robinson
  12. Jalen Brunson
  13. De’Anthony Melton
  14. Collin Sexton
  15. Mo Bamba
  16. Jarred Vanderbilt
  17. Kevin Huerter
  18. Marvin Bagley III
  19. Duncan Robinson
  20. Donte DiVincenzo
  21. Devonte’ Graham
  22. Bruce Brown

The 2018 NBA Draft was the beginning of something special for several NBA teams, but the Chicago Bulls’ poor choices set them back in their rebuild.

Of the first 12 players on this list, there’s not one that I’d pick Wendell over in a theoretical re-draft for these Bulls. I think strong arguments could also be made to pick Sexton or even Gary Trent Jr. — who was very questionably ranked No. 23 in B/R’s re-draft — before Wendell as well.

To make matters worse, 9 of those 13 other lottery players in the re-draft were selected after Carter Jr., with only Doncic, Young, Ayton, and Jackson Jr. off the board by pick No. 7. It’s frustrating to think about what this team could have been if the Bulls had picked a player with true superstar potential such as Gilgeous-Alexander or Porter Jr. (who famously wanted to play for the Bulls) or even just a defensive powerhouse like Bridges or Williams.

All of those picks feel on brand for what the new front office of Karnisovas and Eversley are looking to add to the team, so it’s just a shame they didn’t arrive here sooner. I highly doubt the pair would have selected Hutchison with the 22nd pick, that much is for sure.  Early draft mistakes happen all the time, but what happened in the case of Hutchison was particularly unforgivable.

Dynamic guards like Simons, Brunson, and Trent Jr. were available. A pair of centers who are better than the one the Bulls drafted at No. 7 were still waiting to hear their name’s called in Williams and Robinson. A whole host of great rotation players like Melton, Vanderbilt, Graham, Brown, Robinson, Jae’Sean Tate, Landry Shamet, Shake Milton, Kenrich Williams, Hamidou Diallo, and Jevon Carter were right there for the taking. It’s almost impressive how Chicago managed to not pick a good player, given how much talent was on the board.

Even if you truly do believe Wendell deserves to be ranked 8th on this re-draft, that doesn’t really make things better for Chicago, does it? If Wendell really is an extremely talented player and promising piece, how come he wasn’t able to become that guy on the Bulls? This points to extreme mismanagement of assets and a big failure on behalf of the coaching staff and the Bulls’ ability to develop prospects.

It’s hard to say just how differently things would have played had the Chicago Bulls not stumbled during the 2018 NBA Draft, but in today’s NBA you can never have too much talent. The fact that neither player chosen during this draft was good enough to last even three seasons with the Bulls is a mistake that could end up haunting the franchise for a very long time.

Next. 15 best draft picks in Chicago Bulls history. dark