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No rumor :)


Krause back in spotlight
GM set to make 5th lottery pick

Jerry Krause is on the clock.

NBA Commissioner David Stern will deliver similar words Wednesday night when the Bulls follow Houston with the second overall pick in the NBA draft and Stern will announce, "Chicago is on the clock."

The Bulls are expected to draft Jay Williams after the Rockets select Yao Ming.

The former Duke point guard wants so badly to land in Chicago that he called Krause within the last 48 hours to reiterate that preference—just in case his consistent public platitudes the last few weeks didn't do the trick.

"We've had calls [to trade the pick], but we haven't had any calls that have knocked us out," Krause said. "We're very comfortable at No. 2."

But even the impending selection of Williams doesn't take Krause off the clock in another manner.

Since 1995 when the NBA went to its current format of 13 lottery picks, 11 teams have had as many lottery selections as the Bulls' total of four. Seven of them have been playoff teams and one other—the Clippers—is on the verge.

Only Golden State, Cleveland and Vancouver/Memphis have gone to the promised land known as the lottery as often as the Bulls in that time span and remained several team photos away from the playoff picture.

The seven playoff teams—Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Toronto, Dallas, Orlando, Boston and New Jersey—have parlayed their picks into a release from purgatory.

Some of those teams have hit the jackpot with picks. Think Boston with Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker, or Philadelphia with Allen Iverson.

Other teams have made trades for another cornerstone player. Think Milwaukee with the 1996 draft-day flip-flop of Stephon Marbury for Ray Allen, Toronto with a similar deal of Antawn Jamison for Vince Carter in 1998 or Dallas with a Robert Traylor for Dirk Nowitzki steal in the same year.

Granted, other factors contribute to a franchise's resuscitation, such as smart free-agent signings and trades for the right veterans. But the point is this: When Krause and the Bulls make their fifth lottery selection Wednesday, past history suggests it's time for the rebuilding effort to move from stagnant to successful.

"The only way I want to be in the lottery next year is by trade," Krause said.

Krause likes to say it takes three to four years before a draft can be judged. But after four straight seasons in the lottery and out of the playoffs, Bulls fans are restless.

How well has Krause used his four recent lottery picks?

His first one, the first overall pick in 1999, brought Elton Brand in for two seasons of stellar play and classy demeanor. Other lottery picks from that draft have turned into stars, including Houston's Steve Francis, New Orleans' Baron Davis and Cleveland's Andre Miller.

But nobody can argue Brand's productivity as a Bull, even in terms of his market value when Krause traded him for Tyson Chandler last June.

In 2000, Krause used the No. 4 pick on Marcus Fizer and traded the draft rights to the No. 7 pick, Chris Mihm, to Cleveland for the draft rights to Jamal Crawford, the No. 8 pick.

Fizer hasn't developed into a star, and the Bulls have shopped him. The former Iowa State star seemed to find a niche as an offensive catalyst off the bench late last season, and management is convinced Fizer can be a Corliss Williamson-type if he stays in shape.

Crawford's case is even more intriguing. At this time last summer Michael Jordan was making a play to acquire the young point guard, who then blew out his knee and missed 59 games last season.

The Bulls have inquired about Miller's availability and now appear poised to draft Williams, which would seem to indicate dissatisfaction with Crawford as a point guard. Yet Krause remains enamored with Crawford and, according to a league source, rebuffed Jordan's attempt to acquire him this summer.

By the end of last season Crawford was one of the Bulls' best spot-up shooters. Krause envisions Crawford and Williams playing together, with Trenton Hassell also getting some backcourt minutes.

Last summer Krause traded for Chandler, the No. 2 overall pick, and drafted Eddy Curry at No. 4.

Memphis' Pau Gasol, the third pick, won NBA Rookie of the Year. Golden State's Jason Richardson and Memphis' Shane Battier, the fifth and sixth picks, had solid seasons.

But management is convinced Chandler and Curry can be game-changing players. And nothing that has happened this summer—with both players returning to off-season workouts early—has changed that opinion.

"Last year we hit a home run," Krause said. "Elton was a home run. Elton led to another home run. For the positions we've been in, I think we've drafted well. We've built a core."

Krause spent most of Monday huddled in team meetings with his staff and club Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. The draft strategy is in place. The scouting trips have been taken, the film studied and the private workouts conducted.

Bulls management knows it's time for the lottery to pay off.
Copyright © 2002, The Chicago Tribune

1,709 Posts

Some might be enthused or encouraged by the play of Crawford, Chandler and Curry last season. I, however, am not. UNLESS Curry, Chandler AND especially Crawford have stayed on course with their own personal training, we will likely see much more of an inordinant amount of fouls by curry, chandler being pushed around in the paint like a pin ball, crawford hoisting up less than recommended shots, and rose's blossuming desire to remain a bull, fading. Its all about experience and motivation. THIS year, we will SEE what our previous lottery picks worth, really is. Draft day is one day away now and I am personally sick and tired of hearing how houston will or will not pick ming. Lets face it, the table is SET, Krause KNOWS whom he will select, or whom he will trade the selection for. Lets just sit back and see what kinda "plate" krause serves the BULLS FANS, this year.

1,709 Posts
I can see now, different site, same attitude. I never mentioned in my previous post whether I was referring to 2 or 3 point shots. Jamal Crawford might have made a few 3-pointers, but that was it. 47% does not mean he made 100 3-pt many DID he make wise guy?:confused: i NEVER said he WOULD be that the post einstein. I will, hold my judgement and enthusiasm until I see the product on the floor this year. No uppity comments on my remarks concerning curry or chandler? gee, I am shocked.:eek:
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