2011 NBA draft preview

Hello Bulls Fan,

Glad to be back to start back up the draft coverage.  Even though it was a rough ending, it was great to see such a long run from the Bulls and I hope to provide an in-depth analysis on what I feel should hit the Bulls needs, wants, and Thibs coaching style. 

I would like to thank Doug for inviting me back and this will be a really interesting draft and off-season for the Bulls as we are a couple of tweaks away from being title contenders. 

I am not going to pretend that I know what is going on behind the scenes from Bulls Management as to whether we are planning on keeping our picks, trading up, or trading for a veteran.  However, I hope to cover prospects in depth, and let us dream up different scenarios. 

Obviously, we have a glaring hole for a shooting guard that can hit an open shot to keep defenders honest, be a secondary creator, and enough of a defender to play in Coach Thibs' system.  While this draft is very weak in terms of superstars, there are some possible finds; especially where we will draft, and some of finds are actually shooting guards, and in particular, role players.  

With the current NBA contract negotiations, the Bulls payroll flexibility, some upcoming contracts that will expire next year, two first-round picks and a middle 2nd round pick, it will be interesting to see what the bulls do with their picks. 

Will they considate the picks and trade up for a quality player, draft a Euro to stay overseas, keep the picks, or trade for another current player?  With the draft being such an unknown, I doubt the Bulls will keep both picks and expect them to try to get another established quality player under contract.  

Questions have been thrown out if Thibs likes to play unproven youngsters, and that is yet to be determined.  Obviously, Omer Asik got plenty of playing time as he gained trust.  I am willing to state that we need to draft the best player available and not just the best shooting guard available. 

This late in the draft, we need to focus on players that can contribute in any way.  This last draft, we had players such as Landry Fields, Jordan Crawford, and Trevor Booker become contributors for their teams. 

There have always been gems out there in the late first or even second round.  On the current Bulls rosters, we have early 2nd round pick in Carlos Boozer and Omer Asik, a late first round pick in Taj Gibson, a late second round pick in Kyle Korver, and undrafted C.J. Watson.  

In this draft, there are several players that don't have outstanding upside, but strike me as players that offer a unique skill and with enough athleticism to fill their role.  Early in the draft, look for teams to risk on drafting on potential, leaving role players with a specific niche to fall to the mid to late first.  

Luckily, picks later in the first round could prove to be just as good as late lottery and mid first-round.  I can see Thibs playing a player with a high basketball IQ, a defined role, and at a skill we need.

Players that could be available for our first round picks include Kenneth Faried (Morehead State), Nolan Smith (Duke), Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA), Josh Selby (Kansas), Marshon Brooks (Providence), JaJuan Johnson (Purdue) and E'Twuan Moore (Purdue), Reggie Jackson (Boston College), Bojan Bogdanovic, and Klay Thompson (Washington State).   

Sleepers in the 2nd could range from Euros, to Kalin Lucas (Michigan State), Justin Harper (Richmond), David Lighty (OSU), Justin Harper (Richmond), Jimmy Butler (Marquette), Andrew Goudelock (College of Charleston), and Keith Benson (Oakland)

On a daily basis, expect draft prospect reviews and their possible fit with the Bulls.

Guest contributor
Kevin States

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Comments

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  • Kevin's back! It was fun having you around last summer for the 2010 draft. Glad you're back for this years draft! The guy that I really want the Bulls to draft is Nolan Smith. I don't know why this guy is so low on most of the draft boards. I thought he had a quality college career at Duke, seems like he has a pretty high basketball IQ, and not to mention the invaluable coaching of Coach K. I hope he'll fall to us. The other guy I really like is Josh Selby.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Thanks; looking forward to it. Yeah, he is a good prospect and has a good chance of falling to where our draft picks are now. I will be posting up an article on him soon.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    GIBSON ON THE BLOCK:

    With JaJuan Johnson slotted to go late in the 1st Round, in theory, the Bulls could use Taj Gibson in a trade to get a starting SG, such as Nick Young, Arron Afflalo, Courtney Lee or OJ Mayo.

    Of course, the Bulls could stand pat and see which SG falls to them at 28. Or they could package both 1st Round picks and move up to grab the SG of their liking (Marshon Brooks?).

    Either way, the Bulls should be ACTIVE.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It wouldn't be a Mappy post without the inclusion of Nick Young.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Nick Young would be a huge upgrade of what the Bulls have now at the 2 guard spot so Happy's choice is not a bad one at all. Plus Young has some good size to him and he can definitely average more than Bogans 4 to 6 points a game means the Bulls win average which is a complete joke.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Lighty in the second round would be ideal. Kid works very hard and is an excellent perimeter defender. Could definitely guard 1-3 most nights. 3pt shooting has improved every year and he stayed all four years. He's ready to contribute right now.

    Floor is Bogans, ceiling probably is around Bruce Bowen. Low risk, potentially high reward.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Bogans has stuck in the league for 8 years and started over half the games he's played. You can find players drafted in the high lottery who don't turn out that well. People are always way too optimistic about player's real downside comparisons, nobody who is only a fringe first rounder has a floor as high as Bogans.

    I'd guess anyone the Bulls draft will have a floor closer to Eddie Basden than Keith Bogans.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Agree, the Bulls have four draft picks (though #60 barely counts), and the floor of any one they get will be "does not belong in the NBA".

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The Kings have the Bulls #60 pick.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Guys,

    Again while this is a weak draft, there are going to be some players available if we keep our picks. They might just be solid players, but we drafted Taj at #26 a couple of years ago. While we may draft someone that might not stick with us, we do have a chance to draft someone that should be solid too; higher floor than Bogans.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    I think you mean ceiling, not floor.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Yeah man, your right - busy day, sorry.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I really like Marshon Brooks or Klay Thompson but from what i've read in every mock draft and draft, outside of draftexpress.com, they seem to both be gone by the 20th pick. I would consider trading both first and moving up to select either one because that talent we'll prob select at 28 and 30 will be very similar to our pick at 43rd.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The Bulls draft pick at #60 was one of two second rounders given to Milwaukee as a bribe for taking John Salmons. The Bucks eventually traded both picks.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Glad to see there was absolutely no discussion on this particular player or his abilities, other than his floor is out of the league.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    I mentioned Lighty as a guy who could be the replacement for Bogans way back in the first month of the season, so it's not that I don't like him. I just don't see much to discuss, even if the Bulls use both picks there's a good chance they come up with nothing. If we had a lottery pick I'm sure people would be much more eager to discuss prospects.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Possibly, but with 2 picks, and we just need a role player, all of our solid player contracts that expire in a year, and the Bobcats pick, it could be an interesting draft too!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Agreed, if the Bulls get involved in a trade it could get exciting. Although it seems more likely they'd trade for a vet than a high draft pick.

    I guess it's one of the few benefits to being a bad team, draft time is a lot more exciting than when you have the best record in the league!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Hey, Kevin how about Ravern Johnson with the 2nd round pick. He is a 6'7" shoother who is going undrafted in most mock drafts.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Kevin what do you think the chances are the bulls can draft both Marshon brooks and Davis Bertans?? I think these would be great picks for the bulls. I also think the big guy from wisconsin is really good, i watched him in the draft combine they had on the NBA channel...he looked really good and can stretch the floor.

  • In reply to winnerz:

    If Bulls keep both picks, I can see them drafting a Euro to stash overseas, but more for Bogdanovich. As for Brooks, I will be posting a write-up on him and I have heard the Bulls do like him; will he make it to pick 28? As for Jon Leuer of Wisconsin; he can shoot, but I question his athletic ability, rebound, and the ability to be tough. He could be a great get if we draft late in the 2nd round.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    I think the Bulls need someone who is ready to contribute right away and has three basic attributes:

    * Can hit wide open threes
    * Quick enough to have a chance at guarding Wade
    * Big enough to not be completely abused by LeBron on a switch

    Anything else you can get on top of that is a bonus when you're picking at the end of the first round.

    That said some of the guys who were floating around the end of the first round who might be a good match for that are now projected in the mid-late second round, so maybe the Bulls can make a trade with their picks for a vet and buy a second rounder and have the best of both worlds.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I really doubt the Bulls are looking to bring in extra fringe players, so I doubt buying a pick is in their plans.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see them trade up or trade out, but I can't see them looking to get more picks unless there's someone really enticing they just want to stash in Europe.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I'd completely forgotten the Bulls have the Jazz pick in the second round from the Boozer trade, scratch that idea then, I was thinking they didn't have a second rounder this year since their own went in the Salmons trade.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Kyle Thompson is a Guy I really like for the bulls to draft he remind me of Kevin Martin

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Great feedback everyone; looking forward to seeing which prospects entice you.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The Bulls can't trade for Young or Afflalo at draft time, they are free agents. They can't pre-emptively agree to a sign and trade as has been done in the past because there is no CBA and no one knows what will be legal.

    Lee and Mayo are possibilities though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Isn't young also known for his matador defense like jamal crawford? I don't want to bring in another player we have to hide defensively as long as boozer is in the starting rotation.

  • In reply to vibrantleo:

    He's also a massive black hole, of all the guards to take 14+ FGA a game Young has the lowest assist per game average of 1.2. Not just this season, lowest in NBA history!

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