For several seasons the Chicago Bulls used the draft to mold their team. For example, ten years ago in the 2004 NBA Draft, the Bulls basically built their team when they drafted Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Chris Duhon in one swoop. But with the Bulls being a perennial playoff team, and with head coach Tom Thibodeau reluctant to play rookies, the future of the Bulls is no longer tied to the draft.
Chicago does not need two more players that will be tied up in a guaranteed rookie contract for around three seasons. The Bulls will also have a lot on their plate this summer with free agency looming in July. With Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony also rumored to be coming to the Bulls, the team will need to save as much cap room for the long haul.
Joakim Noah will be a free agent in two seasons, and will undoubtedly want a large deal to stay with the Bulls. Derrick Rose will be making over $20 million during the 2015-16 season. Also, if Chicago acquires Love or Anthony, they could be making the max with the Bulls as well. So, the Bulls need to be wise and deal their two first-round draft picks this year at No. 16 and No. 19.
In what seems to be a three player draft with Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, it’s not as if there’s a lot of depth to go around come later in the draft. Rodney Hood would be no savior if he falls to 16, and one of the Bulls needs such as the scoring forward Doug McDermott could be gone in the top ten of the draft as well.
On top of everything else, it’s not as though Thibodeau would give any rookies enough playing time to grow early on. Last season’s rookies, Tony Snell and Erik Murphy, are proof of that. During the regular season, Snell averaged only 14 minutes per game, while Murphy was waived in April by the team after only averaging .3 points per game. Any late first-round draft picks would get the same type of treatment until they gain the trust of Thibodeau—and obviously that isn’t easy.
For the most part, the two first-round picks that the Bulls have will not help the team. They’ll just take up dead space on the Bulls roster and eat into the teams cap space.