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Second City in NBA Draft

By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 24, 2006 6:13PM

Chicagoist remembers when the highlight of the long, playoff-less off-season for the Bulls was the NBA Draft lottery. We saw the Bulls participate 6 years in a row, grabing the top overall pick in 1999.

2006_05_sports_paxon_draft_lottery.jpgAfter a one year haitus, the Bulls again participated in the lottery event, held in the NBA's New Jersey studios. Of course, this time they participated on behalf of the New York Knicks' draft pick, traded to the Bulls as part of the Eddy Curry deal. And the Bulls learned that they'll have the second pick in next month's NBA Draft.

Now that the entire draft order has been determined, it's time for the Bulls to begin deciding what to do. In addition to the second pick, they hold their own 16th pick. But how would adding two rookies to their young roster help them move towards becomming one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference? This is a weak draft class to begin with, and the rules changes prohibiting high school talent from the draft further dilutes the pool.

The Bulls have a solid, young core already. However, they do need some size and the top players in this draft are LaMarcus Aldridge, a 6-10 power forward from Texas, and Tyrus Thomas, a 6-9 forward from LSU. While both offer the size the Bulls are looking for, are either of them ready to step in and contribute? We can't have this rebuilding forever.

The Bulls might look to trade one, or both, of their draft picks. Maybe even package them with existing players for an established star? Would there be any way to package them along with Ben Gordon for Kevin Garnett? What other players could step in and help the Bulls next season? These draft picks are definitely worth more to the Bulls as trade bait than they are for the talent they could directly bring to the roster.

Image via Yahoo! News