With Free Agency looming, and the draft being one of the deepest drafts that I know of it should be interesting to see what the Bulls do. I know they need to clear space to get two big-free agents, but the Bulls also need young, cheap good players. In this draft they should at least be able to accomplish getting one good player out of the draft. Here are my best-case scenarios if they can pull it off. Again, I know nothing about free agency, but I am going for best player available.
1) If possible, package the 17th pick and whomever to move up.
Get a player such as Ekpe Udoh or Paul George. I have covered that before draft coverage really started, these were my favorite two realistic options and I think if you can make a trade from range 10-12, these are like getting top 5 picks.
Udoh is being heralded as a great defensive player that can clean up on blocks, rebounds, and get out in transition. However, I really like his mid-range jumper on offense, his passing versatility, and his turn-around jumper in the low post. At the power forward position, he can take players off the dribble also and create this way. Ideally, he would be a perfect fit next to Noah.
George is my number four player in all of the draft as much as that might surprise anyone. George is best suited for small-forward, but he can play the shooting guard next to Rose also. He causes great problems on defense with his long wingspan and good lateral quickness. On offense, he should create great mismatches as he will be able to post up smaller defenders and shoot a turn-around jumper, or use his great 3 point shooting stroke off of a playmaker such as Rose. He is so smooth and could be a huge steal in my opinion.
2) If we cannot trade up, trade down and get a later first round pick and early 2nd round pick.
To me after the first 7-8 players, the draft is loaded in terms of good role players up until early 2nd round. I would love to trade down and get a player combination such as Kevin Seraphin and then add to a combo such as James Anderson, Willie Warren, Jordan Crawford, or Dominique Jones. I feel that we can add size and great depth at both power forward and shooting guard.
I am really high on players such as Kevin Seraphin and think he has higher upside than other big guys such as Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Solomon Alabi, and such because of his size, athletic ability, youth, and hard-work ethic.
To me Warren, Anderson, Crawford, and Jones all have their question marks, but they all have strengths that would contribute to the Bulls. Crawford is average athletically, presents solid size at the shooting guard, and is a clutch shooter. Anderson is a scorer/shooter that plays well on team offense. Warren is the most talented of the four offensively and is a good combo guard off the bench, but has questionable attitude. Jones is the best all-around player with great intangibles, but lacks the great outside shot overall.
3) Draft the best player available at pick 17.
I think overall the draft is solid from picks 10-35 and provides great balance. I am hoping at this pick one of Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh, and Paul George slide as they provide more talent than others in this tier. However, it looks unlikely that they will slide, but other players such as Luke Babbitt and Patrick Patterson could slide. At this pick, I am taking best available as the Bulls will need depth in case they trade some of their other picks.
Right now it looks like the Bulls are focusing on shooting guard, which is a need. Even though I would not take any of the guards at pick 17, they should all contribute in the league and somewhat of a limited role this year. Guards such as Jones, Warren, Anderson, and Crawford.
4) Somehow, get a 2nd round pick!
Right now, early 2nd round picks could result in a cheap scoring option off the bench or size and players to develop overseas. Players such as Jordan Crawford, Darington Hobson, Mikhail Torrance, Jarvis Varnado, Terrico White, Craig Brackins, and Willie Warren are late first round/early second round picks that will provide a great role in some capacity. Hard-nose hustle guys such as Gani Lawal and Trevor Booker are early to mid second round picks and are detrimental glue guys at the next level. International players such as Ryan Richards, Alexey Shved, and Thomas Heurtel show great promise and skill that could be drafted and developed to play in a couple of years.
Draft Expectations -
Right now, all I am asking is that the Bulls do not just throw away the pick for cap space. I would rather take a chance and get a cheap, young player to develop and make even more dangerous as this is a deep draft and good players can be drafted if homework is done right. I just hope they can draft a player for good trade bait, or to add to depth.