Coming off a strong season, the Chicago Bulls aren't done just yet.
In exceeding expectations by advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bulls will have their eyes on winning the title next season, and Thursday's NBA Draft was a way for the team to bolster some positions on their roster.
The Bulls have a rather deep team, but still need to get a little bigger, and could use a pure shooting guard. There has been discussions about acquiring Vince Carter or O.J. Mayo at guard, and perhaps pull off a blockbuster deal involving Carlos Boozer for Dwight Howard (a major longshot, but it's remains a possibility). Should those possible trade fall through, the draft was a good way to add a perimeter scorer, as well as some size.
General manager Gar Forman drafted on talent with the 30th pick, by selecting Marquette small forward Jimmy Butler.
Butler averaged 15.7 points and 6.1 rebounds last season with the Golden Eagles, and was named All-Big East honorable mention. The 21-year-old Texas native could possibly play some shooting guard, and is also a solid defensive player.
Versatile defenders are important to head coach Tom Thibodeau, and Butler fits that description. He also openly discussed playing more of swingman role in the pros.
As for the 28th and 43rd picks, Forman dealt them to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the rights to the 23rd pick, Nikola Mirotic, a mobile 6'10 power forward with good touch and a lot of versatility.
Mirotic has an expensive buyout clause with his Real Madrid team, so he won't be playing with the Bulls anytime soon. Such moves make sense in the long term. The player gets to hone his skills overseas and the Bulls can feel free to trade his rights at any time.
In a sense, Forman covered the Bulls' needs in Butler and Mirotic, though not in the long term. Butler could prove to be the scorer the Bulls need, and Mirotic might be an effective big man when he probably arrives to the NBA in a few years.
It will be interesting to see what moves Forman makes now. The Bulls don't have any notable free agents to worry about re-signing, and might have enough trade bait to land a legitimate starter at shooting guard.
Forman will probably pursue free agent Jamal Crawford, or perhaps Michael Redd.