The rumors linking Jazz center Rudy Gobert to the Bulls have been overstated, league sources indicate to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. President of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has spoken multiple times since Chicago’s season ended about wanting to prioritize continuity, as well as his desire to see a healthy version of the current core. Johnson believes those comments were genuine.
In Johnson’s view, the safe bet is that the Bulls have a relatively quiet night on Thursday, keeping and using the No. 18 overall pick. If the team does make a trade, it’s likely to be a smaller-scale move than a Gobert blockbuster, perhaps involving Coby White, Johnson adds.
Here’s more from around the Central:
- Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com confirms that the Cavaliers aren’t opposed to the idea of trading back in the draft from No. 14 or even trading out of the first round altogether. According to Fedor, Cleveland has received trade offers from multiple teams, but nothing is imminent and all possible scenarios are still at the discussion stage. Sources tell Fedor the Cavs would prefer to acquire a future first-round pick if they’re moving back in the draft, but would also be open to acquiring a win-now veteran if the fit is right. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype previously reported that the team was open to moving down this year to acquire a future first-rounder.
- Pistons general manager Troy Weaver told reporters this week that the front office is prioritizing long-term upside with the No. 5 overall pick, but he stressed that doesn’t mean the team favors 19-year-old prospects over 22-year-olds. “To me, upside is a growth mindset,” Weaver said, per Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. “I don’t subscribe to, ‘The guy is a 23-year-old and he can’t grow, doesn’t have upside.’ There’s some guys that are 19, 18 that limit themselves. I’ve seen a couple of young players and I said, ‘It’s going to be a while because he just doesn’t get it.'”
- James L. Edwards III of The Athletic rounded up several more of Weaver’s quotes from this week’s presser, along with his own thoughts on the GM’s comments.
- The Pacers were one of the few NBA teams to make public which prospects they were bringing in for pre-draft workouts, but they didn’t make an announcement about bringing in Iowa’s Keegan Murray, who had a workout, a lunch, and a meeting with team officials during his visit, per Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter links). Indiana holds the No. 6 pick in Thursday’s draft.