Trade possibilities have been discussed. Film has been watched. Debates within Bulls management have occurred.
Sarcasm aside, not even management knows what will happen Thursday. Sure, the Bulls have done their research, have their draft board and are prepared to take their favorite that drops to them. However, in picking so low, the Bulls can do little to control what occurs in front of them.
It's likely they ultimately will settle for a combo guard with scoring ability, with Memphis' Will Barton, Vanderbilt's John Jenkins, Kentucky's Doron Lamb and Darius Miller among the myriad possibilities. Barton worked out for a second time Wednesday following a group workout earlier this month.
Trade talk surrounding Luol Deng fell mostly quiet for the second straight day. The speculation began when the Bulls met with North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes, a surefire lottery pick, at the draft combine. League sources said the Bulls held exploratory talks earlier with teams in the lottery that could absorb Deng's contract into salary-cap space.
If the Bulls don't make any deals, they will have luxury tax concerns next season — a season Derrick Rose will miss the majority of as he rehabilitates from knee surgery. With Rose sidelined, the Bulls, should they keep the pick, are hoping to add someone who eventually can ease some of Rose's ballhandling duties and also play alongside him.
The Bulls have been searching for that type of player since trading Kirk Hinrich to the Wizards before the all-in approach to the historic 2010 free-agent class.
General manager Gar Forman declined to hold the team's annual predraft news conference this year. But speaking before last year's draft, in which the Bulls took Jimmy Butler at No. 30, Forman conceded how difficult it is to draft so low.
"If you study the draft with those late picks at 28 and 30, more times than not it's not going to be an impact guy," Forman said then. "Even if he isn't, we want to get someone who fits us and in two or three years can be a rotation guy."
Butler fits that bill. Taj Gibson, whom the Bulls selected at No. 26 in 2009, does as well. The Bulls are hoping to find some late-round magic again.