The draft lottery results are in: The Chicago Bulls will pick fourth in the 2020 NBA Draft. Chicago, who had the seventh-highest odds for pick one for the third straight year, find themselves in the top four for the first time since 2008.
This draft lacks clear-cut superstars like we’ve seen in recent years with Anthony Davis and, most recently, Zion Williamson. However, it’s undeniable this draft does have impressive talent. What this fourth pick allows the Bulls to do is to add to their young core and increase the talent pool on the roster.
Chicago had an 8.5% chance of landing the fourth pick, and vice president of basketball operations and virtual lottery representative Arturas Karnisovas was thrilled: “I’ve never picked this high. I let it always play out. We’re doing a bunch of rankings. Minimize the noise and pick the best player available.”
One realistic direction the Bulls could go with this pick would be to trade up or down, or listen to calls from other teams and work out a potential trade package. Karnisovas spoke to ESPN on trade offers and said, “The way I approach the draft is that there are a ton of opportunities. You’re going to take 100 calls, possibly nothing happens, and you stay at your picks. It’s just an exciting time to make your organization better that night.”
The direction the front office will decide to go is uncertain, but it does seem they will ultimately look to add either a point guard or a wing, as a big just doesn’t make a lot of sense with Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen on the roster — both of whom the new regime are equally impressive by.
That said, let’s talk some talent that could be available for the Bulls at pick four.
A versatile forward with the passing promise of a guard, Maccabi forward Deni Avdija would be a perfect fit on the Bulls. Standing at 6-foot-9, Avdija’s size alongside his ability to do a little bit of everything makes him one of the most versatile players in the draft. The Bulls have lacked depth on the wing for a while now, and drafting a player like Avdija who fits the criteria of playing “positionless basketball” will do nothing but good things for a team that barely got ten games out of Otto Porter Jr. this season.
His ability to pass, shoot, rebound, defend, and guard multiple positions has likely impressed the Bulls, who reportedly have already done extensive background work on Avdija in recent months. He’s savvy in the pick-and-roll, impressive as a creator off the dribble, and has made significant improvements in his shooting from range, where he shot over 40% from three following Maccabi’s restart last month.
Labeled the most talented player in this draft, point guard LaMelo Ball is more than a big name — he’s got a big game. Ball, who spent the last season with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia, won rookie of the year in the NBL and showed flashes of the superstar potential we’ve been seeing from him since he first went viral at age 14.
Ball is a generationally talented passer who possesses pinpoint accuracy and omnidirectional vision. He averaged 7.9 assists per 36 minutes with the Hawks, and his playmaking would be much needed for a Bulls team that ranked 23rd in assists per game and struggled to find someone to create for others in the half-court set.
Aside from his impressive playmaking, Ball’s physical makeup is comparable to Ben Simmons and brother Lonzo Ball. He stands 6-foot-8 and has a 6-foot-10 wingspan, and father LaVar Ball even suggested he’s still growing. His positional size at the guard spot allows him to disrupt passing lanes consistently, and while he is recognized as a poor defender as of now, he’s someone who should be coachable as a guard with that size.
Recognized as the best player in this draft by The Ringer, Killian Hayes of Ulm in Germany draws comparisons to superstar James Harden — and for good reasons too. Hayes is a dynamic left-handed shot-maker who, at age 18, has made rapid progress in his all-around game. He has an excellent touch when finishing at the rim, and his ability to make tough threes with Harden-esque moves makes him a player with significant promise going forward.
Playmaking is Hayes’ best skill; he’s creative in the pick-and-roll and comfortable at making plays for his teammates. He has the size to outmuscle smaller guards at 6-foot-5, and with the impact he can make defensively, he should have no problem fitting in next to star Zach LaVine. Hayes is a player who almost certainly will be available at pick four, and one the Bulls should seriously consider if looking to add a point guard rather than a wing.
Given the situation the Bulls are in, coming off a less than impressive season, drafting fit over best player available just doesn’t make a lot of sense. They need talent. That’s where Anthony Edwards comes into play.
Edwards, who spent his freshman year at Georgia, has floated around as a top-three pick for a long time now. He’s a dangerous scorer who has an explosive first step off the dribble and has no problem creating for himself with the use of complex dribbles, spins, and shifty crossovers. While his shooting percentages (47.3% effective field goal) leaves you wanting more, Edwards can comfortably make shots when left open and puts pressure on a defense with his ability to score from any level.
He is powerful at the rim for a two guard at 6-foot-5, and if locked in can be a monster defensively thanks to his 6-foot-9 wingspan. Edwards is a solid player, and despite not being recognized as a playmaker, can create opportunities for shooters and find cutters thanks to his ability to beat his man off the dribble.
Other options for the Bulls could be James Wiseman, Isaac Okoro, Devin Vassell, or Obi Toppin. Those names were excluded from this list for either fit reasons or the fact they likely will be taken in the back end of the top ten.