If the Bulls trade into the lottery, they're rumored to be interested in North Carolina's Harrison Barnes. But is Duke's Austin Rivers a better choice?
The Miami Heat went up 2-1 in the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night, but the big news of the day on Monday in Chicago was about Luol Deng and how the Bulls seem to be very willing to trade him.
Of course, trade rumors involving the eight year veteran aren't new around these parts, but this somehow feels different.
The Bulls apparently are exploring ways to not only shed salary, but get into the lottery at the same time.
And even with an injured wrist that may or may not need surgery, Deng's value is at an all-time high, and a lottery team – like the Sacramento Kings who have a history of trading with the Bulls – looking to get better right away might be interested in making a deal with Chicago for the eight year veteran's services.
The biggest rumor bandied about around the Internet has been the Bulls reported interest in North Carolina's Harrison Barnes after it was revealed he had a conversation with the team during the NBA's recent draft combine. But is he the best choice if the team trades up and makes it into the lottery?
Barnes and Deng seem to be similar players and when you already have Jimmy Butler waiting in the wings, why not go in another direction entirely and draft the type of guy the team has been missing for 14 years and counting?
And given what seems to be the organization's love affair with Duke players (Elton Brand, Jay Williams, Deng, Chris Duhon and Carlos Boozer), why not use the pick on a shooting guard and take Austin Rivers who is anything but short on confidence in himself and would be exactly the kind of player fans would love.
A dynamic athlete and scorer like Rivers, who loves big games and seems to be immune to pressure, paired with a healthy Derrick Rose in the backcourt would wreak havoc on the NBA for years to come.
His relationship with Tom Thibodeau only helps and could be another reason the organization might be enticed to take a guy who, by all accounts, could be a great offensive player (and defensive player, if coached by Thibs) in the NBA.
What looked like a mundane off-season for the Bulls could potentially be exciting if the speculation and Internet rumors become reality.