The Chicago Bulls denied NBA Global Camp officials’ claims that they were too cheap to attend.
In a deep dive on the NBA’s first-ever overseas draft combine in Treviso, Italy, where 81 international prospects vied for a spot on a team’s big board, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony dropped this tasty nugget:
Of the 30 NBA teams, 29 sent representatives to scout the event, with only the Chicago Bulls refusing to participate because of their unwillingness to pay the $10,000 fee the league charged teams to subsidize expenses, according to camp officials.
The Bulls are worth roughly $2.6 billion, so putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage over $10,000 would be some serious penny-pinching, even for a rebuilding team that sold the rights to No. 38 overall pick Jordan Bell to the Golden State Warriors for a few million bucks at last year’s draft.
(Bell is averaging 12 minutes per game for the reigning NBA champions in the Finals, by the way.)
Bulls say they’re all set on the international front
Bulls executive vice president John Paxson denied frugality was the reason they failed to attend.
“We made a decision not to attend the Treviso camp given our trust in our director of international scouting, Ivica Dukan, and his knowledge of the event and the prospects in attendance,” Paxson told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We are also currently holding workouts for our two first-round draft picks and want all of our scouts present as we go about this very important process.”
Rather than further evaluate potential second-round picks and undrafted free agents abroad, the Bulls instead chose to go all in Stateside on the Nos. 7 and 22 picks they own in the first round. Likely top-10 picks Mo Bamba, Mikal Bridges and Wendell Carter Jr. were among the players Dukan and the rest of Chicago’s scouting department reportedly worked out during this week’s NBA Global Camp.
Chicago might still be missing out
Givony wasn’t done with the Bulls, though:
Bulls confirm they were the lone NBA team not to attend the NBA Global Camp, citing previously scheduled workouts and their trust in their scouting department. Surely then they will pay the 10k in order to obtain the crucial medical data of participants? https://t.co/I4fxnhiQpj https://t.co/bCKvvUMAXp
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 7, 2018
So, it turns out that $10,000 also gets the Bulls a ticket to the participants’ medical data. Maybe they were already a hard pass on everyone in attendance, and they figured that $10,000 could go to a better cause, like paying out the difference if they fail to barely make the salary floor next time. Maybe they were too cheap to go. Or maybe they didn’t know they’d be the only team sitting this one out.
Either way, I’m guessing this isn’t going to go over well with the Chicago fans who crowdsourced a #FireGarPax billboard in dishonor of Paxson and Bulls general manager Gar Forman last summer.
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