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The Chicago Bulls Get Lucky (in the Draft Lottery)

You’ve heard it’s better to be lucky than to be good?  Well, the Bulls got lucky and turned a 1.7% chance into the first pick in the 2008 lottery.

What does thing mean?  Most likely another Baby Bull.  The darn-near universally acknowledged candidates for 1st pick are freshman Mike Beasley and freshman Derrick Rose.  When looking at potential lottery picks, you’re not seeing much by way of upper-classmen.

Who should the Bulls pick?  That’s a slightly more difficult question when you don’t have a coach and don’t know what style they’ll necessarily play.  What I would say are the two biggest needs the Bulls have are more low-post scoring and a pure point guard.  Guess what?  Those are also your choices for your pick.

Mike Beasley: PF
Pro’s: He can score in the post as well as anyone in the draft, and his range is a great bonus.  He can rebound like a demon.
Con’s: The Bulls have a terrible record of developing young front-court talent.  You keep hearing about “character issues” and the Bulls have been known to factor in such things.  If they haven’t given up on Tyrus Thomas, this might cause a logjam at Power Forward, with the assumption that Drew Gooden continues to play well.

Derrick Rose: PG
Pro’s: A pure point guard fills a need.  Showed up under pressure in March and showed leadership.  Better record developing back-court talent.
Con’s: Outside shooting could be improved.  Chicago traditionally doesn’t like drafting local players.

If you look at point guard play this season, particularly with Deron Williams and Chris Paul, two players Rose has been compared to, that position seems to be a difference-maker in the current NBA.  The expected departure of Chris Duhon leaves an open slot in the rotation, as opposed to the already-stacked Power Forward position, so I’d lean towards Rose with the first pick.

Beasley, still an attractive player, becomes more attractive to me if a favorable deal can be reached to trade Gooden or Thomas for a good, young pure point guard, thus covering both areas of need.  I’d be much happier with the guard rotation if Hinrich were a 6th man combo guard, not a starting point.

Either pick will underscore the need for the Bulls to recommit the franchise to player development, especially if Beasley joins Thomas and Noah as the third young lottery pick in the frontcourt, with Aaron Gray joining them as a promising 2-year player from the second round.

The Bulls will also now face a little more pressure to spend some money and get an established head coach, even as they continue to slink around the assistant coaching ranks, slumming for a bargain salary.  To bungle developing another lottery pick (like Chandler, Curry, Thomas, and possibly Noah, thought its still early for him) would add more insult and injury to the team’s fortunes.

Avery Johnson was metaphorically drooling all over Rose on ESPN tonight.  Would Rose’s presense make the Bulls more attractive to Johnson?  Even at a Reinsdorf salary?

On the whole, the Bulls have been dealt a good hand.  Can they do something with it this time?

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