Short-term excitement could be future disaster in proposed Bulls draft trade

2024 NBA All-Star - G League Next Up Game Presented By AT&T
2024 NBA All-Star - G League Next Up Game Presented By AT&T / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

There has been buzz of late that the Chicago Bulls are attempting to move up in the 2024 NBA Draft. 

They reportedly like Matas Buzelis, the jumbo wing who has connections to Chicago as well as Arturas Karnisovas. 

There are also reports that the Bulls could trade up for big man Donovan Clingan, though this is as much speculation as anything solid. 

Buzelis is unlikely to fall out of the top five, which means the Bulls would have to give up some kind of asset in the form of a player or future picks to move up from the 11th pick to get him. 

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James Edwards III of The Athletic (Subscription) suggested a trade between the Bulls and Pistons that would give Chicago some short-term excitement but could come back to haunt them in the future. 

Chicago Bulls trade the 11th pick and a 2027 pick (top-4 protected) to the Detroit Pistons for the 5th pick 

In this trade, the Bulls swap picks with the Pistons and throw them their 2027 1st-round pick as a sweetener. This assumes that the pick Chicago owes San Antonio has already been settled. It is top 10 and then top 8 protected over the next two seasons. 

The pick the Bulls are owed from Portland is lottery-protected, and with the Trail Blazers rebuilding, may never convey.  

In the short term this looks great, as the Bulls get the chance to add a top talent to a roster badly in need of young impact players. 

But giving away a future pick just to move up in what is widely considered a weak draft may not be best for the long-term health of the team. 

Imagine where the Bulls could be in 2027: There is a fair chance they will finally be rebuilding in which case, this is the precise time they will need as many draft picks as possible. 

If the Bulls did a deal like this, they had better hope whoever they draft is on his way to being a star by 2027, because if they trade a future pick for a dud, they could be stuck with a bad team, no picks and have to watch some team like the Pistons choosing a guy they could have had in 2027. 

That seems like a long time from now, and in the meantime the Bulls have to try and win games but waking up in 2027 without a draft pick could be a nightmare scenario for Chicago. 

If the 2024 pick were a homerun, you could live with it, but if not, it’s a lot of risk with questionable rewards.