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NBA Executives predict the Bulls-Cavs series

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NBA Executives predict the Bulls-Cavs series

Several NBA scouts and executives were asked their opinions of the Bulls-Cavs series, who they thought would win and what would be the difference. CSNChicago.com granted them anonymity to ensure the most genuine observations. Of course, it came out a dead heat among the six front office personnel, with different reasons for all.

Eastern Conference executive: Cavs in 6

If you’d asked me prior to suspensions and history, I might’ve picked Bulls. Watched Bulls and Milwaukee, I think everybody knows everything isn’t clicking for the Bulls. I don’t think they can do it consistently. I’m a Derrick Rose man, but I think it’ll be too hard for him to be consistent. Missed too much time. Game 3, then struggled in 4 and 5, that’s just the reality. You can’t miss the reality. The extra couple games in that series could help them. In the playoffs, you gotta be able to adjust. I’m not sold (Tom) Thibodeau brings you any advantage from that standpoint, although he’s a better option than David Blatt. LeBron (James), Kyrie (Irving) and Tristan Thompson will be huge. Kevin Love, they can win without him, they won with him out in the fourth quarters and through the season when he missed time.

[MORE BULLS: Jimmy Butler faced with task of slowing down LeBron James]

Eastern Conference scout: Bulls in 6

In short, the difference will be Bulls winning Game 1 with Cleveland's long layoff, J.R. Smith out, and Kevin Love injured. The Bulls at full strength have the best 8-9 man squad in the NBA. Bulls at their best is better than (Cavs) at their best. They have been waiting for this moment for four years. Cleveland not having that stretch big is vital. They will shore up Tristan Thompson's offensive rebounding. Bulls will be revved up for every game, unlike in Round 1.

Eastern Conference executive: Cavs in 6

Can Rose be consistent enough offensively especially when he is going to have to expend so much energy guarding Kyrie? Obviously stopping LeBron is an issue. Interesting development is how Cleveland manages to create space on floor without Love. I think you see a lot of small ball with LeBron at the 4 and Chicago will have to counter that by beating Cleveland up on the glass. Going to be interesting.

Eastern Conference scout: Bulls in 6

No Love for the whole series and no Smith for first two games going to be too much for even LeBron to overcome I think. Would have said seven but if it does go back to Cleveland for a Game 7 LeBron won't let his team lose that.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Western Conference executive: Cavs in 6

They have the two best players and I think J.R. Smith will play well once he gets back.

Western Conference executive: Bulls in 6

Bench depth. (Asked about Rose) I think he and Kyrie cancel each other out.

CSNChicago.com Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill: Cavs in 6

As tempting as it is to claim otherwise, it's hard to imagine the Bulls winning two games in Cleveland this series, which in all likelihood they'd have to do. They'll steal one of the first two (a must) then give one away back at home. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are the two best players in this series and conventional reasoning says you take the team with those two. Derrick Rose will have his moments, but it's tough to expect the Bulls to play consistently for an extended stretch when they've been chasing that all season. Hard to predict the Bulls being great at what they're "good" at, which it will take to overtake not having James or Irving. No magic button.

Bulls not a part of Anthony Davis-to-the-Lakers trade, but it could have an effect on the draft

Bulls not a part of Anthony Davis-to-the-Lakers trade, but it could have an effect on the draft

Farewell, Lonzo Ball-to-the-Bulls rumors.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday evening that the Los Angeles Lakers have finally acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and the deal doesn't include a third team.

In exchange for Davis, a six-time All-Star about to enter his prime, the Pelicans recieved Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and three first round picks, including the No. 4 pick in next week's NBA Draft.

There was some speculation - also reported by Woj - that a third team would need to get involved in order to satisfy what Pelicans GM David Griffin was looking for in a package for Davis.

Though the Bulls were never directly connected in reports as a potential third team, it made sense considering they own the No. 7 pick and have a need at point guard.

There was also some speculation - though, again, never concrete news or reports - that Zach LaVine could have been an option in a deal, with the Bulls acquiring the No. 4 pick.

Alas, the Bulls aren't part of the deal. But it still may have an effect on them.

The Pelicans now own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks in next week's draft. They're obviously going to take Duke forward Zion Williamson with the first pick but now have options at No. 4. Whereas the Lakers had been linked to Vanderbilt poing guard Darius Garland, the Pelicans really don't have a need there with Ball and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt.

That, in theory, could bump Garland down to No. 6 and the Phoenix Suns, which would then free up the Bulls to take North Carolina's Coby White at No. 7.

Wojnarowski also reported that teams are still inquiring about the No. 4 pick from the Pelicans. It's unlikely the Bulls would depart with LaVine though maybe they could put together some sort of package to move up from No. 7.

What's more likely is the Bulls keep their assets intact in such a weak draft class and move forward with the best player available on the board at No. 7.

But it's officially Woj Bomb season, so buckle up. As is the case every NBA offseason, anything can and will happen.

NBC Sports Boston's Trade Bot comes up with Kris Dunn-Terry Rozier trade

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USA TODAY

NBC Sports Boston's Trade Bot comes up with Kris Dunn-Terry Rozier trade

The NBA landscape is getting ready to undergo a dramatic makeover this offseason, with the vast number of free agents and the volatility of the 2019 draft class. While the Bulls and Boston Celtics are two teams that could have much different views of success next season, they also could be ideal trade partners. Our partners at NBC Sports Boston laid out an intriguing trade offer that certainly got Celtics fans talking.

The NBC Sports Boston “Trade Bot 3000” came up with a scenario in which Danny Ainge targets Bulls guard Kris Dunn.

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This does not come as a huge shock, as GM Danny Ainge has had a liking for Dunn’s game dating back to the 2016 NBA Draft, when he reportedly almost traded then-Celtic Isaiah Thomas fior a lottery pick to select Dunn. Of course since then things have changed quite a bit, as Dunn has failed to develop into a real threat from the perimeter and his great defensive effort has been dragged down by foul troubles (4.3 fouls per 36 minutes).

NBC Sports Boston’s Trade Bot pointed out that Boston would be receiving the New London, Connecticut native with a full season before he is set to hit restricted free agency (2020-21). Dunn’s team-friendly contract would make sense for a Celtics team that is unlikely to have any functional cap space this offseason. And even in the event that the Celtics do create near max cap space, that would likely mean that guards Terry Rozier and Kyrie Irving are no longer on the roster.

Dunn would be a solid option as a starter or backup guard for a new-look Celtics squad that would be built around feeding Jayson Tatum plenty of looks, much more than the 13.1 field goal attempts per game that he averaged over the 2018-19 season. Dunn’s usage rate dropped a significant amount last season and his offensive rating improved as a result of him using less possessions. I would expect that trend to continue under Brad Stevens, who would find more creative ways to keep Dunn involved on offense.

It is simple to see how the trade would be appealing from the Bulls perspective. Though incredibly similar prospects, Rozier presents a greater threat from the 3-point line as compared to Dunn.

He is by no means a knockdown shooter, but the fact that “Scary Terry” has taken 6.3 attempts from 3-point range per 36 minutes (for his career per Basketball-Reference)  definitely matters.

Defenses will have to account for Rozier when he is on the floor, making him a nice partner for LaVine on the offensive end of the floor. But again, Rozier would not be a savior at the PG position. He has many of the same flaws as Dunn, such as generating a tremendously low amount of free throw attempts. As we all know, a fresh start can do wonders for a young player and a trade of this nature would allow the Bulls to add Rozier, while giving him the true maximum salary that only the Celtics would be able to offer.

To make matters even better for Chicago, the Bulls would be collecting a second round pick as well for swapping a player on a rookie deal for a player who is due for a significant raise. One last interesting nugget on a possible Dunn-for-Rozier trade is that the two guards are actually one day apart age-wise. They are at a similar stage in their careers/development, to the point where it would be tough to say which team won the trade.

Let us know how you would feel about NBC Sports Boston Trade Bot’s Dunn-for-Rozier swap at @BullsTalk!