Bulls Ready To Shop No. 7 Pick In NBA Draft

John Paxson has expressed the need for the team to add veteran help.

May 15, 2019 - 9:55 am
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(670 The Score) It only took minutes after the Bulls suffered disappointment in landing the No. 7 pick in the NBA Draft at the lottery Tuesday evening that they began to advertise its availability.

That message that the organization is ready to shop the pick in a potential trade was sent loud and clear by executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson.

"We're going to look at this with a real open mind," Paxson said when asked on the Mully & Haugh Show on Wednesday morning how aggressively the Bulls will shop the pick. "I think we are in a position where we need to find the best players that we can to help this group. I've made no bones about the fact, I've listed some guys, I've mentioned Kris (Dunn) one time. We have not at all given up on Kris Dunn as a basketball player, but we need really good play from the point guard position. It's too important of a spot in this game to not have a player or two is really good for you. And I think the point guard, in so many ways, you see it all the time, he can make the game so much easier for other players, especially when you have two young bigs like we have.

"We will be open to many different things. We do have some flexibility with our cap space now. So you can trade into it. You can do a lot of different things with it. We'll be open-minded."

The Bulls are projected to have around $21 million in salary cap space this summer, a number that could increase by $3 million if the NBA grants the Bulls' request to for salary relief on Omer Asik's contract due to his career-ending injury. That money could be used to sign someone in free agency or absorb a big contract in a trade.

A potential trade partner could be the Grizzlies, who are in line to take Murray State point guard Ja Morant at No. 2 in the draft. They previously shopped veteran point guard Mike Conley on the trade market. He has two years and around $67 million left on his contract.

"We need to go into free agency and get some vet guys that really know how to play and can help you win games," Paxson said, speaking generally. "Because the bottom line for me and for us is we have to get back to being a competitive basketball team, where our fan base looks at us and appreciates the way we play. And we can keep growing from there, and I'm confident that we will if we can stay healthy and add a few real important pieces to our roster."