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.