Bulls

Noah meets competitive eater Kobayashi

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Noah meets competitive eater Kobayashi

While there was nothing to be happy about for the Bulls during Wednesday nights 98-82 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, some consolation came afterwards as Joakim Noah was able to meet the man considered to be the worlds best competitive eater, Takeru Kobayashi.

The game was Kobayashis first NBA game and while its not known who he was rooting for, it was at least an entertaining affair for the home crowd.

Noah was joined by teammates Brian Scalabrine and Kyle Korver who all met and had their picture taken with the 33-year-old Japanese celebrity but it was his meeting with Noah that might have spawned a new-found friendship. The two might be making plans to hang out once the season comes to as close as Kobayashi resides in New York, which is Noahs birthplace as well as where he spends some of his time in the offseason.

Also in the video, Noah is asked how many wings he thinks he could eat and he answers Not as many as him, and boy, was he right.

Kobayashi set a new record Friday at Wing Bowl 20 -- the annual chicken wing-eating contest in Philadelphia -- scarfing down 337 wings easily besting the world record of 271 by Jonathan Super Squibb set in 2011.

Check out video of the meeting below:

What it would cost for the Bulls to move up to No. 4 or 5 in the NBA Draft

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USA TODAY

What it would cost for the Bulls to move up to No. 4 or 5 in the NBA Draft

It doesn’t happen often – mostly because the price is so high – but there is precedent for teams trading in to the top 5 of the NBA Draft. In fact, it happened a year ago when the Dallas Mavericks dealt the No. 3 pick to the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 5 pick and a top-5 protected pick in 2019. Prior to that deal, the last team to move up that high in the draft was the 2005 Utah Jazz. They dealt three first-round picks to move up to No. 3 and select Deron Williams.

So while it’s rare to see a team jump up, it’s happened before. And there’s a feeling that the Bulls, owners of the No. 7 pick, may be interested in doing just that on Thursday night.

Rumors surfaced on Wednesday that they may be looking to move up to No. 4 or 5 to draft Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, while Texas Tech shooting guard Jarrett Culver could also be in play.

As it stands, it seems unlikely the Bulls will be in play for the No. 4 pick. The Pelicans essentially own that pick, as it will convey to them following the completion of the Anthony Davis trade next month. But the reason the pick is up for grabs is because GM David Griffin is looking for a veteran player as part of that return package.

He believes a core of Zion Williamson (who the Pelicans will select with the first pick), Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram can compete immediately in the West. A veteran player would provide more help right away than whoever they selected at No. 4.

Zach LaVine and even Lauri Markkanen have been speculated as potential assets in deals. No one should be untouchable on a team that has won 49 combined games the past two seasons, but in a draft considered weak by many, it’s hard to see the Bulls giving up two proven young talents on team-friendly deals just to move up a few spots.

The No. 5 pick could be an interesting spot for the Bulls. The Cavaliers could move down and pick up more assets. They already own the Rockets’ first-round pick (26th overall) and might entertain grabbing a third, or even a future first-round pick.

But the Bulls aren’t alone in wanting to move up, and that’s where it gets tricky. ESPN reported Wednesday that teams attempting to move up to No. 4 (and, presumably, No. 5) included the Celtics, Hawks and Timberwolves.

Both the Celtics and Hawks have three first-round picks (Boston has 14, 20, 22; Atlanta has 8, 10 and 17) with which to leverage in a potential deal this season, meaning the Bulls would have to beat those offers by including future assets.

That likely would include a not-so-protected 2020 first-round pick, a scary proposition for two reasons: The Bulls aren’t that close to competing and likely will be a Lottery team next season, and the new Lottery system is more balanced than it was in the past: 7, 8 and 11 all moved up last month into the top 4.

The Pelicans at 4 or Cavaliers at 5 could create a bidding war among teams looking to move up, either by including more picks or young players or having bidders continually reduce the protections on future picks.

So, here's what a hypothetical package could look like for the Bulls:

Bulls trade: No. 7 pick in 2019, 2020 first-round pick (top-10 protected; top-5 protected in 2020; top-3 protected in 2021; unprotected in 2022)
Bulls get: No. 4/5 pick in 2019

Those protections are similar to the ones the Mavericks put on their pick in the Doncic/Young deal, though the Bulls may be able to protect theirs a little better because the jump from 7 to 4/5 isn't as large as 5 to 3 and because the class isn't as strong.

When the Mavericks dealt their top-5 protected pick to the Hawks last year, their prize was Doncic. He turned out to be a franchise-changing pick. Guys like Garland and Culver may pan out, but the incentive to move up isn’t as high as it was last season because of the weak nature of the draft. There isn't a Doncic. Heck, there isn't a Trae Young or even Wendell Carter Jr.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, that doesn’t mean the price tag will come down. With so many teams reportedly trying to move up, they may need to overpay to move up and get their guy.

And it's not as though the Pelicans or Cavaliers NEED to get out of where they're picking. The worst-case scenario is drafting the player so many teams are trying to move up for. Draft capital is expensive, as the Bulls are sure to find out tonight if and when they try to make a deal.

2019 NBA Draft Preview Show: How to watch online and on the MyTeams app

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NBC Sports Chicago

2019 NBA Draft Preview Show: How to watch online and on the MyTeams app

 It's the moment Bulls fans have been waiting for all season, NBA Draft day. Unfortunately the Bulls don't have a top-four pick like they were hoping for, picking at seventh for the third consecutive season.

But the last couple of No. 7 picks have worked out well for the Bulls so optimism is abundant.

Ahead of the draft, NBC Sports collected some of the best basketball minds from around the country to look ahead to draft in the NBA Draft Preview Show, which will stream exclusively in the MyTeams App in two parts at 11 a.m. CT and at 2 p.m. CT.

NBC Sports' national basketball insider Tom Haberstroh will host and lead the discussions, including with our own Bulls pregame host Mark Schanowski. Fans can submit questions on social media using the hashtag #NBADraftNBC.

Here's how you can watch NBC Sports' NBA Draft Preview Show online:

DATE: Thursday, June 20, 2019
TIME: 11 a.m. CT / 2 p.m. CT
WHERE: MyTeams App

WHO:
Ian Begley — Knicks
Sherrod Blakely — Celtics
James Ham — Kings
Paul Hudrick — Sixers
Dwight Jaynes — Blazers
Chris Miller — Wizards
Monte Poole — Warriors
Mark Schanowski — Bulls
Chris Forberg — Celtics
Jamie Hudson — Blazers
Serena Winters — Sixers

Then after the draft, your Bulls Postgame crew will go live at 10:30 p.m. CT from the Advocate Center to break down the draft and hear from John Paxson. The Bulls Outsiders

Here is how and when to watch post-Draft coverage

Bulls Draft Special: 10:30 p.m. CT
Bulls Outsiders: 11 p.m. CT
WHERE: MyTeams App

Then on Monday, June 24, NBC Sports Chicago will stream the Bulls introductory press conference at 2 p.m. CT in the MyTeams App.

And if you want a crash course in 2019 Bulls draft discussion, from analysis on who to pick in the first and second round, it's all in one convenient spot right here.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.