Wake up, it’s draft day. And the Bulls are already reportedly embroiled in trade talks.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported in his Wednesday morning mock draft that the Golden State Warriors are “weighing” a proposal from the Bulls that would send Wendell Carter Jr. and the No. 4 pick in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick.
“If the Bulls trade up, sources believe they’ll select James Wiseman,” O’Connor writes, adding that if all parties stay put, Wiseman is the “likely choice” for Golden State and the Bulls are “deciding between” Deni Avdija and Patrick Williams.
Packaging Carter and No. 4 in a trade-up scenario has been floated by expert observers for some time. After the Bulls vaulted to No. 4 on the night of the lottery, our Will Perdue ruminated on the idea as a potential avenue to draft Wiseman. The Athletic’s John Hollinger did the same in a mock draft, except with LaMelo Ball as the hypothetical apple of the Bulls’ eye.
This, though, is the first hard reporting on such a possibility. The Warriors could hypothetically absorb Carter’s salary into their $17.2 million trade exception generated trading Andre Iguodala a year ago, or they could send back a stopgap center (Kevon Looney?) to appease the Bulls.
Or, Wiseman could plug that role. Artūras Karnišovas has stressed that the Bulls will target the “best talent available” from their draft position, and in a class ruled by parity, the big man from Memphis certainly has a case. Standing 7-foot-1 with a chiseled frame and 7-5 wingspan, he boasts tantalizing physical tools and projects to make an immediate impact in the NBA as a rim-roller, shot-blocker and rebounder.
Wiseman also runs the floor incredibly adeptly for his size and flashed perimeter skill handling and shooting as a top-ranked high-schooler and in three college games -- keys to unlock his building-block potential.
Is Carter and No. 4 a hefty price to pay to move up two slots in an uncertain draft? Possibly.
But if Wiseman -- or any other particular prospect -- is the man Karnišovas sees shepherding the Bulls into a better era of basketball, Karnišovas has proven at past stops he’ll do what it takes to secure him. For the Warriors, nabbing Carter represents a chance at a skilled and versatile big to bolster their frontcourt with hopes of title contention ahead -- and still secure a promising prospect at No. 4.
The day ahead should be a full one. Just try not to choke on all the smoke.