Update 11/12/2020 7:29 AM ET – According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, LaMelo Ball has met and interviewed with the Chicago Bulls. This would at least give some backing to the rumors surrounding Lamelo and the Bulls. If the Bulls deemed that they have to have him from that interview then they could make a trade like the one described below. However, LaMelo also conducted a private workout for the Timberwolves who are still seriously considering him with the first pick.
According to @DraftExpress, the Chicago Bulls have met and interviewed LaMelo Ball.
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) November 12, 2020
As we get closer to the 2020 NBA Draft the rumors are starting to fly. The biggest rumors heading into the draft surround the order of the top 3 picks. Early on rumors came out that the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors who own picks 1 & 2 are both willing to move from their spot. The Bulls have of course found themselves in the rumor mill. The Bulls hold the #4 pick in this year’s draft and there’s speculation that they don’t want to stay there.
"Some popular picks among executives to make such a move for LaMelo Ball at No. 1 include the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder." 👀👀👀
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 9, 2020
It has been reported that the Bulls are big fans of Illawara PG LaMelo Ball. Chicago Bulls Insider K.C. Johnson put out an article stating that he believes if he’s available the Bulls will take him.
Deleted a Tweet which called this fine young prospect by his brother’s name because a) I’m an idiot; b) haven’t had enough coffee yet.
But point remains: All signs point to Bulls needing to trade up if LaMelo Ball is their guy. https://t.co/ver7ltETZN
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 10, 2020
LaMelo has been regarded as a top 3 prospect in this year’s draft since he announced that he would enter the draft. Apparently, the Bulls are such big fans that they would be willing to trade a young piece of their core to move up to the #1 spot. There was more firepower to this rumor when ESPN’s Jonathan Givony appeared on the Lowe Post Podcast.
Givony stated that the Bulls could be looking to trade the #4 pick and Center Wendell Carter Jr for the #1 pick. This would certainly be to draft LaMelo Ball and no one else at this point. The Bulls must believe that LaMelo would bring that much talent to the team to let someone like Carter Jr. go. We are unsure if these are the true feelings the Bulls have about LaMelo but if they are let’s take a look at it.
Is that too much to give up for LaMelo?
We aren’t just looking at the Bulls taking LaMelo with the current roster with this rumor. We are looking at them giving up a piece of the young core in Carter Jr. If the Bulls made this trade for the #1 pick it would leave them with Power Forward Daniel Gafford, Power Forward Cristiano Felicio, and Center Luke Kornet to take control of the center position on the team. The Bulls would be left with a major hole at that position. I’m not saying Gafford can’t play center but he’s going into his 2nd year in the league after only playing 43 games. The other two guys aren’t viable starters for an entire season. This would hurt the Bulls in terms of size and being able to defend the paint.
Speaking of defense, LaMelo doesn’t play much of it.
— Henry Abbott (@TrueHoop) November 10, 2020
LaMelo is an offensive weapon and there’s no doubting that. He can create his own offense and set his team up in the process. His vision and basketball IQ are great. Where he doesn’t help you is on the other end of the floor. He doesn’t put the same competitiveness into the defensive end of the floor. This is something you can get away with in high school and somewhat in college. In the NBA you need to play on both ends of the floor unless your offense is at a James Harden level. The Bulls were one of the worst defensive teams in the league last season. Taking away our starting big man and adding a player who struggles on defense certainly wouldn’t help the defense improve.
One other thing of note about this potential trade is whether Minnesota would want this deal or not. They currently have Center Karl-Anthony Towns and PF Juan Hernangomez so Carter Jr. most likely would be coming off the bench. This team has been rumored to be looking for another piece to make a championship run. I’m not sure if a center coming off the bench is what they would be looking for.
This remains to be another draft rumor for the Chicago Bulls. We are still in the same position we were earlier in the week. People are unsure about what the Bulls will do in this draft. However, if this rumor turns out to be true the reaction in Chicago may be a bit sour.