The Chicago Bulls look a lot different now than when Artūras Karnišovas was hired as executive vice president of basketball operations in 2020.
Only Zach LaVine and Coby White remain from the team's 2019-20 roster. Patrick Williams, Marko Simonović, Ayo Dosunmu and Dalen Terry were drafted between 2020 and 2022. But the rest of their players were acquired via free agency or trade.
The latter transactions came with a cost, especially given the caliber of players the Bulls have acquired, from multiple-time All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević to star role players Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso.
And in the NBA, transactions coming with a cost can often mean dealing draft picks.
With the start of the 2022-23 NBA regular season approaching, here is a look at which future draft picks the Bulls have traded, which they still own, and which are tradable (via Real GM's database):
Which Draft Picks Have Bulls Traded?
Here is a year-by-year breakdown of the draft picks the Bulls have traded:
The Bulls owe their first-round pick to the Magic — unless they miss the playoffs and finish in the top four of the 2023 draft order — as part of the trade for Vučević. If the pick is not conveyed in 2023, it becomes a top-four protected first-rounder in 2024; if not conveyed then, it becomes second-rounders in 2026 and 2027.
The Bulls also traded their (top-four) protected 2021 first-round pick in that deal, which Orlando used to draft Franz Wagner.
The Bulls owe their second-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in an extension of the previous front office regime's February 2019 trade for Otto Porter Jr. The Bulls traded Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and their 2023 second-round pick to the Wizards in that deal; the Wizards then dealt the pick to the Lakers as part of the Russell Westbrook trade in 2021.
The Bulls owe their second-round pick to the Pelicans as part of the sign-and-trade deal for Ball. The Bulls sent Tomáš Satoranský, Garrett Temple and the pick to New Orleans in that transaction.
The Bulls owe their first-round pick to the Spurs — unless they miss the playoffs and finish in the top 10 of the 2025 draft order — as part of the sign-and-trade for DeRozan. If the Bulls do not convey the pick in 2025, it becomes a top-eight protected first in 2026; if not conveyed then, it becomes a top-eight protected first in 2027; and if it is not conveyed by then, it becomes a second-rounder in 2028.
The Bulls also owe their 2025 second-round pick to San Antonio as part of the DeRozan deal.
Which Draft Picks Do Bulls Own?
The Bulls are owed a future first-round pick by the Trail Blazers as part of the 2021 Lauri Markkanen sign-and-trade. The pick will convey the next time Portland makes the playoffs and their draft pick falls outside of the top 14 — unless the pick doesn't convey by 2028, in which case the Bulls will receive the Trail Blazers' 2028 second-round pick.
Assuming the above picks convey in the first allowable year, the Bulls still possess their own first-round picks in 2024, 2026 and beyond.
The Bulls also own the Nuggets' second-round pick in 2023 if it falls 47 or later in the draft order. They acquired that pick from Cleveland as part of the Markkanen trade.
The catch is the Bulls must forfeit their next second-round pick as punishment for violating league rules governing the timing of free-agency discussions while pursuing Ball in 2021. So if they do acquire Denver's 2023 second-rounder, they will immediately lose it.
Which Draft Picks Can The Bulls Trade?
The Bulls obviously cannot trade their first-round picks in 2023 or 2025, as they are owed to the Magic and Spurs, respectively. The Bulls also cannot trade their first-round picks in 2024 or 2026 because of a stipulation in the CBA called the "Stepien Rule," which disallows teams from trading future first-round picks in back-to-back years.
As far as trading their first-rounders in 2027 and beyond? To do so, the Bulls would need to either lift the protections on the picks they owe to the Magic and Spurs, assuring they would convey in the year in which they were originally intended, or otherwise stipulate that any future pick traded conveys at least two years after the 2025 pick owed to the Spurs eventually conveys.
The Bulls are free to trade the Trail Blazers first-round pick in their possession, and can technically trade their own picks in 2024 or 2026, but only on the night of those drafts, when said picks are no longer future selections.
Summary of Bulls Draft Picks
In short, the Bulls own:
Their own first-round picks in: 2024, 2026-2030
The Trail Blazers' first-round pick in: 2023, or whenever Portland's pick next falls outside the top 14 in the draft order
Their own second-round picks in: 2026-2030
The Nuggets' second-round pick in: 2023, if the pick falls 47th or later in the draft order
And the Bulls owe:
First-round picks in: 2023 (Magic), 2025 (Spurs)
Second-round picks in: 2023 (Lakers), 2024 (Pelicans), 2025 (Spurs)
However, the Bulls are required to forfeit the next second-round pick they receive, whether it be the Nuggets pick or their own. They also cannot trade their first-round picks in 2024 or 2026 until the night of those drafts, and would have hoops to jump through to trade any future picks beyond that.
Got all that?
The moral of the story is: When concocting fake trades for the Bulls this season, remember that sometimes making a deal is more complicated than it seems.
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