Tuesday afternoon’s NBA draft lottery selection did not go swimmingly for the Chicago Bulls. They lost their lone first-round selection to the Orlando Magic by landing outside the top four, which would have been protected and stayed in the Windy City. Rumors have already run rampant as the Portland Trail Blazers publicly announced they’re “actively seeking” a deal for the third overall selection. While many think the Bulls don’t have enough firepower in a trade for that selection, today’s development in Chicago might signify otherwise.
Attending Scoot Henderson’s Pro Day
In the last hour, big news came to light that the Bulls will be sending representation to Scoot Henderson’s upcoming pro day. The 19-year-old phenom is set to be a top-three selection in this year’s NBA Draft alongside Victor Wembanyama and Brandon Miller. The 6’2″, 195-pound guard is known for his high basketball IQ, incredible athleticism, and explosiveness around the rim. If Wembanyama weren’t in this year’s draft, Henderson would make a real case for the number one overall pick.
Henderson spent last year in the G-League, choosing to forego the college route and head straight from being the number two-ranked point guard in the 2021 high school class into the G-League, where he’s seen limited action due to lingering injuries. In a highlight performance against Wembanyama about six months ago, Henderson scored 28 points, had nine assists, and added five rebounds leading his team to the seven-point victory over the projected first overall selection. During his first action with the Ignite, he was also the G-League’s youngest player in its’ history at only 17 years of age.
“Good Vibes” From Brandon Miller Meeting
The Chicago Bulls also met with the other unanimously agreed upon top-three selection Brandon Miller from the University of Alabama. The impressive freshman averaged nearly 19 points and over eight rebounds per contest, shot almost 40% from three-point territory, and led the Crimson Tide to the number-one seed in college basketball for much of the latter part of the season. His length and versatility immediately impact any NBA franchise, and his pairing with an elite guard could be one of the league’s next top duos. Miller was asked about his brief meeting with the Bulls, where he sounded rather content with how things shook out.
“It was all good vibes. It was just to see where my headspace is at, kind of about my life, how I grew up,”…”I think it’s more about the bond, just talking to somebody. The bond is the most important thing with anything in anybody’s career. I think you should always build a bond and trust somebody, so you know what you’re walking into.”via K.C. Johnson of NBC Chicago
Like Henderson, Miller will be gone by the time the fourth overall selection is on the clock. Chicago must have some plans brewing or at least ‘splash-move’ theories drawn up if they’re exploring this option because, without a selection in the 2023 NBA Draft, it would seem a waste of time if they weren’t exploring ways to land in the top three of this year’s draft. Miller would also be in serious contention for the first overall pick in any other year; Wembanyama is slated to be the best prospect since LeBron James.
Any trade into the top three would almost certainly cost the Bulls at least two of their ‘big three’ plus future draft capital. Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic would be in the mix if it meant trading into a top selection, especially given the nature of this year’s draft being as top-loaded as it is. Many call it a three-person draft, driving up the price even further for a potential deal. Is it time for Chicago to push all their chips into a young phenom and part ways with their aging stars? How much are you willing to give up for a chance at a generational talent, at the expense of bottom-dwelling for the next few seasons?