Is this price too steep for the Bulls to move up in the NBA Draft?

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers
Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers / Emilee Chinn/GettyImages

Rumors have been swirling that the Chicago Bulls will try to trade up in the 2024 NBA Draft. 

Fans are dubious of course, as the Bulls have been so inactive over the last three years that you might forget they are allowed to make trades. 

Chicago has been connected to prospect Matas Buzelis, and I’ve written about some of the possibilities for trading up to get him. 

If the Bulls are looking to reboot this summer, grabbing a big, athletic wing prospect would be a good start. The counterargument is that this is a weak draft, and the Bulls shouldn’t be giving up any assets just to move up in it when they can get the same quality of prospect with the 11th pick. 

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That may or may not be true, but we will certainly look back on this draft at some point and realize we got it wrong when a few stars inevitably emerge. 

The Bulls have a higher chance to land one of them if they move up, but how much is too much to pay? 

Chicago Bulls rumors: Trading Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso  

In a recent mailbag, Bulls writer Sam Smith suggested that the Bulls’ most likely trade partner in the draft is the Detroit Pistons. 

It makes sense, as Detroit wants some veteran, win-now talent and are in the range of where Buzelis will likely be chosen with the 5th pick. 

If the Pistons are interested in Zach LaVine, they can probably have him at this point just by swapping picks with the Bulls. 

But Smith suggested a different route, which is trading both LaVine and Alex Caruso to the Pistons in exchange for the 5th pick. 

This would certainly be a bold move, but one the Bulls should consider, even if it hurts them in the short term. Caruso is the sweetener for taking on LaVine’s deal and it’s a price the Bulls may have to pay if they want to get off that contract. 

Caruso is on an expiring deal and could flee for greener pastures anyway, so even though the Bulls missed their opportunity to cash in on Caruso, he could still be a useful asset that helps the Bulls clear a ton of cap space. 

Even if the Bulls had to take back Evan Fournier’s awful final year at $19 million (I don’t think they would necessarily), they would still clear around $30 million in cap space and now have the 5th and 11th picks to inject some youth into the roster. 

It’s not going to be cheap to get rid of LaVine’s contract, but if the Bulls can use Caruso’s deal to do it, it’s something they will have to consider.