Chicago Bulls, The Whiteboard

The Whiteboard: The Chicago Bulls need to stop tossing away second-round picks

The Chicago Bulls need to stop trading away their second-round picks based on how the last couple have turned out so far.

The Chicago Bulls rightly took a lot of grief for selling the 38th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Golden State Warriors. As is well known by now, the Warriors got Jordan Bell, who is a useful, cost-controlled player out of the deal. The Bulls got some spending money.

Several months before that cost-saving measure, Chicago sent out their next second-round pick, along with Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, in exchange for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow.

Somehow, the Bulls had to give up the best two players in the deal (Lauvergne and Morrow are out of the NBA entirely, and Payne is now out of the Bulls’ point guard rotation) and a draft pick! The Oklahoma City Thunder, their partner in that deal, then traded the pick to the New York Knicks as part of the also-puzzling Carmelo Anthony trade.

The pick ended up being a pretty good one because of how bad the Bulls continue to be and turned into Mitchell Robinson. Robinson has started nine games for the Knicks, and he’s got a double-double and a separate nine-block game in his very young career already. It’s early, but the 20-year-old 7-footer has the look of a big man who could be quite productive as he develops.

The Bulls got called out pretty soon after that deal for not only giving up the better players but also somehow having to attach a draft pick as well. Future second-round picks are real assets. Robinson might not turn out to be a starter or even a rotation player, but the chance that he is either of those things makes him an asset worth having, especially for a rebuilding team!

Good, smart teams realize that they can find value in all of their draft picks, not just the first rounders.

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