Chicago Bulls doing second workout with Dejuan Blair, B.J. Mullens, and James Johnson

According to Chad Ford's latest mock draft notes, the Bulls a last minute workout with three big men prospects expected to be available around the 13-18 range.

DeJuan Blair, James Johnson and B.J. Mullens are in callbacks in Chicago.

This workout could easily help decide the Bulls pick at #16 or whether they want to trade up to have their choice of these guys.   There's also a chance that they could wait back and take whomever is left as it's unlikely that all three will be on the board at #16.

I've long favored James Johnson of this group, and I'd probably take them in order of Johnson, Mullens, Blair.   Blair with two healthy knees might convince me to move him up higher, but I'm scared of a guy who has bad knees, weight issues, and is already horribly undersized.   There's just too much working against him for me.

That being said, Blair gives you a higher floor than Mullens who could be a fringe NBA player in three years if things don't work out for him, but it's not hard to envision Mullens having a very productive career if things pan out well.

Johnson has his own warts in that he wants to be a SF, but probably needs to play PF in the NBA.   Will he be a tweener or a mismatch nightmare?    It could go either way.


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  • Draft Express posted this yesterday

    A pair of MRIs making the rounds amongst NBA teams appear to be easing some concerns about DeJuan Blair

  • I'm really not high on him, but if Pax thinks he's worth 16, I trust him. As is, I think there are options who's games are more sure to translate to the NBA, and I'd rather have center be about defense and a bit of post scoring/passing, and PF be about versatile scoring. I think we're in a pretty good position with Noah at center, and Asik coming over in the future, but Blair just doesn't have the offensive versatility to play with Rose on offense at PF. TT's upside, on the other hand, is a great match, and I see James Johnson in a similar light.

    It looks like Hines Ward is missing an ACL, and someone mentioned something about Roberto Garza missing a major ligament in a knee. Go figure. After some reading, it looks like the ACL is something you don't fix it, you have to replace it. Maybe removing it is more effective in some situations. I would worry about increased likelihood of a blowout kind of injury, though I'm no doctor.

  • James Johnson: It's redundant to draft another wing. We have two wing studs with Salmons, and Deng. He's going to bring toughness, that last shot approach, and mismatches. Though, he'll be exposed, due to his absence of a real position. He's more of a SF than PF. He's the same size as Ron Artest.

    Dejuan Blair: Not a true scorer down-low, suspect knees due to his reckless approach, 6'6'' PF, and presents disadvantages for his team in a starting role. I'm not sure if his body will hold through a 82 game season like most inquire about Chris Kaman. Though, he has no essential upside but great intangibles. He has the Oakley approach due to his tough upbringing. He's charismatic and makes you want to attend work lol. Sadly, he's not what we need, don't get caught up in the Davis and Perkins showdown against Noah and Ty.Thomas. People whom eventually saw Bulls for the first time boosted this conception and we need to shake it. Noah and Thomas are getting stronger by the minute, well, Ty.Thomas is a if.

    BJ Mullens: Started playing ball early like in eighth grade. He grew up next to Michael Redd in a poor neighborhood. He has maintained to overcome obstacles and will be looking to prove people wrong down the road. It's hard to argue against his naysayers because his showing wasn't all that impressive. He has great feet, length, size, touch, and athleticism for someone of his stature. I'm not sure if you can get a better project with the 16th pick, maybe Andrew Bynum? He can shoot, run, and laterally coordinate with Guards in rotations. His game reflects Chris Kaman a lot. As he gets stronger and mentally tough, he could bring Bulls stability at our biggest flaw and that's interior offense.

  • James Johnson: Ron Artest

    Dejuan Blair: less explosive Jason Maxiell

    BJ Mullens: less injured Chris Kaman

    Take your pick with awareness of our need. Also, keep in mind, we can address a lot other needs through Free Agency.

  • Gar Forman: "I think it's going to be a very active draft because there are the top five or six guys and after that, the same guy who goes nine or 10 could go 20 or 21," Forman said. "We'd like a low-post scorer. But when you get that deep, I'm not sure you can pinpoint a specific need and meet it. If we can with somebody we like, then we would address it."

  • That's my point, them guys could have a similar reach as them vets. No doubt that aren't them now but they could be down the road. I'm not a fool lol.

  • Frontlines of the NBA Finalists

    Andrew Bynum 7'1"
    Pau Gasol 7'0"
    Lamar Odom 6'10"

    Dwight Howard 6'11"
    Rashard Lewis 6'10"
    Hedo Turkoglu 6'10"

    Potential Bulls draft picks

    DeJuan Blair 6'5"
    James Johnson 6'8"
    BJ Mullens 7'1" and at 19 he might still grow some.

    Johnson and Blair would likely contribute this season, Mullens not so much.

    Johnson can probably give you minutes and legitimate scoring at both the 3 and 4. However, if Gordon is resigned, Salmons is fighting for minutes at the 2 with Hinrich and at the 3 with Deng, so Johnson has to make his mark at the 4. However, if we move Deng in blockbuster next year, then we need a 3 since Salmons can opt out after this season. Unless, of course that 3 is Lebron.

    Blair is scarily reminicent of Sheldon Williams who bombed as a 5 pick at 6'5", Blair's height in socks. I do worry about a guy who couldn't keep his weight under 300 while playing in college, reminds you of Oliver Miller, Tractor Trailor and others. If you could guarantee me 12 boards a night in the pros, I might be a believer.

    By 2010 we face a shortage of big men with Brad Miller likely gone. Asik might be coming, but he is recovering from a bad kneee injury. Thomas could be gone also, we face a decision on his contract starting next summer. Noah, Mullens and Asik could be a nice 3 man rotation at the 4-5.

    We are a team that has been undersized at nearly every position for years, do we really want to add more undersized guys.

    My inclination is to stay at 16 and take whomever falls to us, my gut says that it will be Johnson, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Mullens.

    I'd rather keep 26 for Calathes, a younger, taller, cheaper Hinrich, or Toney Douglas a younger, taller(maybe), cheaper defense playing Gordon.

  • I love James Johnson, don't get me wrong, but I rather go for our biggest flaw. BJ Mullens has a role and that's his scoring instincts. James Johnson has a syndrome for playing on the perimeter like Tyrus Thomas - where he belongs. The dude said he's a SF, so lets not bother his development and force him to play PF. I find that stupid that we keep dating tweeners. For once, lets draft a kid you won't necessarily ever get at 15th in such weak draft. I know wants to address this problem we have down-low because he has said it over and over again.

  • One: This a weak draft and at 16th, the talent pool is gone.

    Two: I'm not drafting James Johnson unless I know for sure that someone wants Deng. At this point in time, no one is lifting their cards.

    Three: You can always take Sam Young with the 26th pick, if he's there.

  • At this point I am not going to cry if we end up with Johnson, or Terence Williams for that matter.

    However, Sam Smith did a piece looking at all the #16 picks over the last 20 years. I think that Ron Artest turned out to be the pick of the litter. Basically your odds of getting a quality starter at 16 are barely better than slim and none.

    He expanded his look to picks 14-18, without much better results.

    If his analysis is correct, then maybe the best move is to try and find a homerun, and upside guy. Mullens is the only guy that fits that bill. He is someone that could be top five if he returned to school. So get him a year early as a value pick. Plus legit athletic 7 footers with NBA bodies are becoming rarer every day, and everybody is always looking for one.

    Mullens is going to go 12-15 so we don't get him without moving up. So it looks like Doug will get his man, Johnson will fall to the Bulls at 16.

    I would want Williams over Henderson, but Williams seems to be making a late surge into the lottery, with several teams interested, so Henderson could fall to us at 16 also.

    Taking Johnson is a hedge against a future move of Deng, who is our best chip in a sign and trade for a top 2010 free agent.

    I still hold out hope that we can convince Lebron that Chicago is the perfect place for him to achieve world domination, and he forces Cleveland to S&T him to us next summer for Deng or Deng and Thomas if need be.

    Then if Doug is right Lebron and Johnson(Carmelo lite) are our frontcourt of the future, with either being able to play 3 and/or 4.

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