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Bulls Don't Win the Lottery

By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 23, 2007 2:00PM

2007_05_sports_nbadraft.jpgMaybe we got a bit ahead of ourselves when we dreamed of Greg Oden trading in the red jersey of Ohio St. for a red Bulls uni, on account of the Bulls holding the right to swap picks with the New York Knicks in this year's draft as part of the Eddy Curry trade.

But you saw how bad the Knicks were in '06, right? And then they added Isiah Thomas to their bench as head coach? The guy who, since retiring as a player, made sure the Pacers' best chance for an NBA title went unfulfilled, bankrupted an entire pro basketball league, and then built the highest-paid, worst-performing roster ever? Did he actually manage to compile Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Jalen Rose and Jamal Crawford on one team at the same time then decide to try and coach them? How could they not be the worst team in the NBA this year?

Alas, the Knicks were only a mediocre 33-49, and not the 10-win train wreck we envisioned. And thus, unable to overcome 1:25 odds of winning one of the top two picks, the Bulls ended up with the ninth pick in next month's draft. No Greg Oden. No Kevin Durant.

With a roster already full of young talent, what do the Bulls do now? Their clearest need is for low-post scoring. But can they find that with the ninth pick in the draft? After spending lavishly on Ben Wallace last offseason, and with Ben Gordon and Luol Deng coming due for big extensions, we don't anticipate the Bulls adding any major parts via free agency.

We think the Bulls would be best off using their lottery pick as part of a package to trade for some inside scoring. None of the big men likely to remain on the board when their turn comes will be what they need — does anyone think Roy Hibbert or Joakim Noah will get the Bulls into the NBA Finals? We don't. But who can they trade for that would help?

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