Since the Chicago Bulls don’t own any rights to a single pick in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft, we’ve had to get a little creative to invent new avenues to improve this summer. Whether that means being active in signing undrafted players, or trading back into the draft, the Bulls would be foolish to let the pass by without adding any new talent to the roster.
But how did we get into this situation in the first place? After trading away a budding superstar in Jimmy Butler and failing to win 32 games or more in four consecutive seasons, Chicago surely should have accumulated quite the treasure trove of young talent and draft picks, right?
Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as Chicago wasted three consecutive lottery picks from 2016 to 2018, and has since failed to develop a rookie into a starting-caliber player since 2019. With the benefit of hindsight, however, things could have played out much differently.
1. The Bulls missed out on MVP talent with Nikola Jokic in the 2014 Draft
To start things off here, we have arguably the greatest draft day misstep of them all. To address the team’s need for shooting around Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the Bulls dealt away the 16th and 19th picks to move up to the No. 11 slot to select Doug McDermott. Their previously owned picks became Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris, both of whom have arguably had more impactful careers than McDermott thus far.
Ironically, Zach LaVine would be selected just two picks later at No. 13, which would have saved the franchise a whole lot of trouble regarding the Jimmy Butler trade. However, the biggest miss here undoubtedly goes to Nikola Jokic, who was famously drafted in the second round at No. 42.