The NBA Draft Lottery results were released tonight and unfortunately for the Bulls, they fell out of the top 4. This means the team will in fact be trading their 1st round pick to the Orlando Magic. When the Bulls made the trade for center Nikola Vucevic they added this pick in the deal. They did however protect this pick if the Bulls landed in the top 4. Bulls fans all over were trying to speak the Bulls in the top 4 into existence. Unfortunately for all of us that didn’t happen and the Bulls pick landed at #8.
The Bulls' first-round pick will convey to Orlando. It will be the eighth overall selection.
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) June 23, 2021
With that being said the Bulls will have pretty much no opportunity to improve this team in the draft this year. Yes, I’m aware they have a second-round pick but that’s not going to be a game-changing player. Unless the Bulls front office can make a move to bring in a first-round pick we won’t have a whole lot of Bulls coverage when the draft rolls around. Instead, we will have to focus on free agency and trades. The Bulls have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to this roster. With the official offseason approaching the Bulls still have one key decision to make.
Deciding how the team should operate
This front office still needs to decide whether the Bulls will operate as an over the cap or under the cap team. That will set a clearer path for Bulls fans in free agency. It’s still unknown as to which way the front office is going to lean. We know that Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas likes to take risks. We know that General Manager Marc Eversley wants to see this team succeed. It’s clear that the front office is going to make the moves necessary to make the Bulls a contender. The question is do they believe in the pieces on the current roster enough to keep them there or do they clean house and start new.
Above the cap team
If the Bulls want to operate as an above-the-cap team they can essentially re-sign any of their current free agents. They will be able to bring back the bulk of their team however they won’t be able to bring in any big-name free agents. This team will have a lot of depth but much less high-end talent, outside of Vucevic and LaVine. The only move they could really make to bring in a higher level of talent would be a sign and trade with forward Lauri Markkanen. Outside of that this team would look similar to last year with a few mid-level free agents added to fill in some gaps.
Below the cap team
If the Bulls want to operate as a below-the-cap team they can sign whatever free agent they want. However, they will have to shed the majority of the vets on the team. They will lose a lot of the team’s depth in order to bring in a higher level of talent. With dropping most of the vets the team can clear around $35 million in cap space. That could be used to sign one big-name free agent along with a middle-tier player. Filling out the rest of the roster would be challenging and would require the team to stretch contracts out which would limit spending down the road. It’s basically a situation where you are wagering the future for success now. The depth of the team would be lacking but the starters and the core would be of higher talent.
Decisions to make
The front office has quite a few decisions to make. We can assume that those decisions will be made in the somewhat near future as free agency will open up at the beginning of August. We won’t hear much from the Bulls until things actually happen most likely. They have been very quiet about every single move they have made in their first year in the front office. Expect the exact same thing to happen as we move into this offseason. Unfortunately, the Bulls didn’t get to keep their first-round pick but don’t worry Bulls fans this front office knows what they are doing.