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Bulls trade draft picks for shooter Doug McDermott

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Updated: June 27, 2014 11:27AM



It remained all business for the Bulls, and that business remained doing everything they could to be front and center in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes.

Holding the 16th and 19th picks in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday, the Bulls traded up to No. 11, held by the Nuggets, and landed long-distance marksman Doug McDermott from Creighton. They also absorbed Anthony Randolph’s expiring $1.825 million contract in a trade exception the Luol Deng deal created.

What the move really did was give the Bulls options.

The 6-8 McDermott allows the Bulls to move veteran forward Mike Dunleavy and the $3 million he’ll make this season. The Bulls also removed a rookie contract, worth about $330,000, by trading their extra first-round pick.

If the Bulls use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer’s contract as expected, they can pay Anthony close to $14 million in the first year of his contract. He’ll become a free agent July 1.

But the better scenario for the Bulls is a sign-and-trade with the Knicks for Anthony. They could send Boozer’s expiring contract and perhaps Mike James, Lou Amundson and Ronnie Brewer.

Either way, the courting of Anthony begins next week, and the Bulls believe they have a lot to offer, starting with a healthy Derrick Rose.

“It’s not only Derrick. Derrick’s doing great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The thing that is going to make it attractive is all the players that are along with Derrick. We have a good team, a great city, great organization, and we have a team that has depth. And Derrick looks great right now. He’s preparing for the next step, which is he’ll practice with the summer-league team and then Team USA, and then we’ll go from there.

“But the real value is in our team. When you look at Joakim [Noah], and you look at Taj [Gibson], Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, and now you add a guy like Doug, I think that’s what makes it attractive.’’

And while Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman had to stay away from mentioning Anthony or LeBron James by name because of tampering rules, they undoubtedly are prepared to force the action to build a contender.

“No matter what direction it goes, we have some money where we’re going to be able to address some needs and improve this basketball team,’’ Forman said. “It can go a lot of different ways, but we all feel confident that we’ll be able to improve our basketball team this summer.’’

McDermott already does that.

He was the consensus national player of the year in 2014, averaging a nation-leading 26.7 points and shooting 44.9 percent from three-point range. He finished his college career as one of three men in NCAA history with 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

While he has excellent shooting range, he’s a flat-out scorer, with 25 percent of his scoring coming from down low.

“If you view him as strictly a shooter, then you’re not casting the right light on him,’’ Thibodeau said.

McDermott hoped to land with the Bulls. He saw the team actively scouting him for years and even attended a playoff game against the Wizards.

“I couldn’t ask for a better spot, under coach Thibodeau and all the talent on that team,’’ McDermott said.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops



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