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Big Night for Bulls' Future

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 28, 2006 7:02PM

2006_06_sports_nba_draft_2006_logo.gifThe NBA Draft takes place tonight, and with both the 2nd and 16th picks in the first round, it'll be a busy night for the Bulls. And a critically imporant night, as the outcome could have an substantial impact on the team's ability to return to greatness.

This draft, however, is also one of the least predictable in a long time. And weaker than most -- in part due to the rules change that keeps high schoolers out. With the likes of Greg Oden forced to go to college for a year, there are only 4 classes of players instead of the five in past drafts.

With even the first pick up in the air, mock drafts are all over the place. Chicago columnists take their stab at mock drafts here and here. has compiled a number of prominent national mock drafts, as well as the consensus Lottery selections.

Of course, these mock drafts don't take into account the trades, and surely there's going to be some trading going on. Toronto, who holds the first pick, may look to trade down so they can get their man a little cheaper and add a little something extra; the Bulls might look to trade their pick for a veteran; and with MJ now running Charlotte's draft, who knows which direction they might go. As the top of the draft unfolds, other scenarios may unfold throughout the first round.

So what will the Bulls do? Chicagoist wishes we had some idea. The team's needs are: a big man and a taller shooting guard. In a draft short on big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Tyrus Thomas are the best available, while Brandon Roy seems like the best option at guard. But with the team seemingly on the verge of contending in the Eastern Conference, shouldn't they trade for that missing piece? Who's available, and for what price?

There are plenty of rumors about draft-day trades, and while many of them are simply rumors, never underestimate John Paxon's ability to pull off a deal. Chicagoist hopes that's the direction that the Bulls go. We've seen too many draft picks come into the program, full of potential, never to pan out. Jay Williams? Marcus Fizer? Jamal Crawford? Tyson Chandler? Eddy Curry? We'd rather add a known entity to the team's current roster.

Regardless which direction Pax goes, it certainly should be an interesting evening. We'll recap the event and give our take on the Bulls moves tomorrow.