The 2014 NBA Draft is supposed to be one of the best draft classes in recent memory, and the Chicago Bulls hold picks 16 and 19 in the first round. There has been lots of speculation that the Bulls could package their two picks to sneak into the back end of the lottery, but why would the team do that?
The Bulls have been able to add solid rotation players like Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler late in the first round, so the tail end of the lottery isn’t as appealing to Chicago as it is to other teams.
Considering the Bulls have a lottery talent like Nikola Mirotic possibly coming over this summer, the team does not need a lottery pick. Looking back at past drafts, there really isn’t much difference between the players selected at picks 14 through 20.
In 2011, the Houston Rockets took Marcus Morris with pick No. 14, and two picks later the Philadelphia 76ers selected Nikola Vucevic. Morris had the best season of his young career averaging 9.7 points in 22 minutes per game, while Vucevic has averaged 11.4 points and 9.7 rebounds for his career.
He has even sprinkled in some dominating 20 and 20 games that show you how high his ceiling can be. In the same draft Kenneth Faried, Mirotic, Reggie Jackson, Norris Cole and Jimmy Butler were selected with picks 22, 23, 24, 28 and 30 respectively.
Each of them has made a name for themselves by stepping up big time in the playoffs, while Mirotic is coming off his third straight Euroleague MVP.
In 2009, the Phoenix Suns selected Earl Clark at 14, while the Atlanta Hawks took Jeff Teague at 19. Teague is the point guard of the future for the Hawks while Clark has yet to find his place in the NBA.
In that draft, the best big man has undoubtedly been Blake Griffin, and he was well worth the top overall pick. The second best big man in that draft by far went to the Bulls at 26, Taj Gibson. Next season both players will be the starting power forwards on teams expected to contend for a championship.
The Bulls have no reason to attempt a trade that would vault them into the bottom of the lottery. All the team has to do is stay patient and pick the best player who fits the system Tom Thibodeau runs. It has worked before, and it will work again.