The 2014 NBA Draft came and went with a little surprise on Thursday night from the Chicago Bulls. The team traded picks No. 16 and 19 to the Denver Nuggets for the draft rights to Doug McDermott and the contract of Anthony Randolph.
Although having Randolph involved in the trade will create a minor headache for the Bulls in free agency, the addition of McDermott and his scoring ability will be an added selling point when the team goes after Carmelo Anthony. McDermott, a 6’8 combo forward out of Creighton, averaged nearly 27 points and seven rebounds during his senior season and has even elicited comparisons to players such as Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak. It remains to be seen if McDermott will live up to those comparisons, but it’s good to know that offensive help is already on its way.
But with the 2014 Draft now in the history books, the Bulls management can focus entirely on Anthony and the free agency process starting July 1st. The first area of business would be to rid themselves of Carlos Boozer‘s $16 million contract in order to clear cap space. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf remains reluctant to amnesty Boozer since the team would still have to pay him to play elsewhere. Instead, Boozer’s contract could be used in a possible sign-and-trade scenario that would eventually land Anthony.
The Bulls will also look to ship off the contracts of Mike Dunleavy and the newly acquired Randolph. Dunleavy could be moved with Boozer in a sign-and-trade as well, but Randolph cannot be moved in a multi-player deal for at least 60 days after being acquired — per league rules. This means that Randolph more than likely won’t be included in any package sign-and-trade deal for Anthony this summer. However, the Bulls can still move Randolph in a single-player trade at any time. With Dunleavy, Randolph and Boozer off the books, the Bulls will have around $16 million in free cap space to offer to Anthony.
If Anthony does sign with the Bulls, the team’s next area of focus will be to re-sign their own players such as free agents Kirk Hinrich, D.J. Augustin and Nasr Mohammed. Next, the Bulls will have to find quality affordable free agents since the team will already be at the cap limit.
It will be a very busy free agency period for the Bulls this summer, but at least with the draft over, the team can finally shift gears and focus on brining over Anthony.