In advance of the 2018 draft, the NBA organized and executed a draft combine overseas, inviting 81 players from 23 countries to participate in front of the vast majority of the league’s franchises. While none of the top-tier names for this coming draft were included for various reasons, 29 of 30 franchises made the trip to Italy to take in the festivities, investing in the world of future evaluation.
However, Jonathan Givony of ESPN brought word on Thursday that the Chicago Bulls were the team that did not attend, citing sources at the camp when unearthing a very interesting rationale.
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 have famously operated in a cost-conscious manner, most famously with regard to the 2017 NBA Draft, in which Chicago sold the second-round draft pick that became Warriors big man Jordan Bell for $3.5 million. Given the team’s rebuilding trajectory, that decision was widely panned and, for many, this nugget from ESPN brought back memories of that bizarre choice.