The NBA recently found the Bulls guilty of tampering in the sign-and-trade deal that brought Lonzo Ball to Chicago. As punishment, the Bulls will forfeit their next second-round draft pick. However, it could have been much worse. According to NBA correspondent Marc Stein, the Bulls prepared for a potential suspension of Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Arturas Karnisovas.
Weeks prior to the NBA’s findings, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that front office staff suspensions, massive fines, and loss of draft picks were all on the table for the Bulls’ punishment. Based on Stein’s report, the Bulls believed their top executive may have had to spend some time away from the team as a result.
In this such a scenario, Karnisovas would not have been allowed to partake in day-to-day activities for however long the NBA deemed. Player suspensions are usually a few games, but front office suspensions are typically months.
For Bulls fans, the punishment consisting of a negated second-round pick came as a relief. Losing a first-round pick, a seemingly more likely penalty, would have been more devastating. The Bulls already have a shortage of first-round selections due to the compensation involved in the Nikola Vucevic trade. Losing Karnisovas for a period of time would have been detrimental as well.
The Bulls will need Arturas Karnisovas to help maneuver a trade at the deadline this season. Chicago’s current roster currently lacks size and depth at the center and forward positions. If the Bulls want to be a title contender, they will need to add a piece like Marvin Bagley in a trade.
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