Well Bulls Fans, it was great covering another draft with you guys. It looks like the Gar actually went with the some of the best players available and not by needs. Even though I did not do a write-up on either player, I really liked both picks and think both have a chance to contribute for our team eventually.
I am a tad torn on passing up a player such as Marshon Brooks because he provides a young shooting guard option, however, I wonder if Marshon would play in the team setting right away or if he would become a distraction and as a selfish scorer. Also, there are reports that he got ate up by Jimmy Butler in workouts.
The best part is that the Bulls are able to take a highly calculated risk on Nikola Mirotic. By doing this, they are able to develop a high potential prospect overseas while lacking minutes to offer in their own rotation. Without concerns over his buyout, Nikola might have been a lottery pick. If he is able to play in the next 3-4 years, we got a steal.
With their 2nd pick of the first round, the Bulls went with the safer pick, but a player that should make contributions right away in Jimmy Butler.
Nikola Mirotic - I see Nikola strictly as a Power Forward as I do not think he has the foot speed to guard small forwards or play small-forward in the offense. Nikola shows great skill at 6'10 as a stretch four. If defenders run at him, Nikola is skilled enough to take players off the dribble and either shoot the mid-range jumper, use a floater, or get to the rack.
Defensively, while not athletically gifted, he is not some scrub. He is not quick enough to guard small-forwards and add muscle to defend power forwards. What I do like is his ability to scrap and fight on defense. He seems a tad below average for a rebounder which is a concern, however, with the way he fights and hustles, I can see him being average as his body matures.
I cannot really compare Nikola to any player because he seems to be a little different than an Andrea Bargnani or a Danillo Gallinari. He is shorter, tougher, more athletic, and quicker than Barnani, and while taller, slower, and not quite the ball handler that Gallinari is.
Jimmy Butler - I liked this pick at this junction because I did not see a shooting guard that I would have tried to reach for at this pick. Jimmy is a does a bit of everything, but still needs to develop his skill level. He makes his living due to his heart, athleticism, and fundamentals. He is very tough and came from the basketball side of "The Blind Side."
Offensively, Jimmy is a little bit of everything. He is not a tremendous slasher, but he can handle the ball and cut to the rim. He's not a great shooter, but has improved considerably over time and has a nice mid range shot. He reminds me of a poor man's Luol Deng in terms of offense with a little better handles, but not someone who will take guys off the dribble regularly.
Defensively, Jimmy possesses great feet, great skill in keeping up with his man and shading to the right area. He also uses his body well when guarding smaller opponents. He guarded the 1-4 at Marquette and always drew the opposing team's best player.
He would limit the opposing team's best player with regularity. Therefore, I see him being able to guard shooting guards and small forwards in the NBA. He again reminds me of Luol Deng in that he is a good defender, but maybe a little quicker than Luol.
Overall, I am very pleased with this draft. While it is a risk that we took Nikola, he had more upside than anyone in the draft at that time and it is a great risk to take. Jimmy Butler fits the Coach Thibs theme of toughness and should be a better overall player than Keith Bogans.
The only thing I was hoping was that the Bulls would have sent some cash in the late second and taken a chance on E'Twaun Moore. I think he would be a cheap possibility to eventually be a shooting guard replacement and be a 13th man to see if he fits. I hope the Bulls can bring in Kalin Lucas or David Lighty as undrafted free agents and see if they fit for cheap.
Who had the Best Drafts?
1) Utah Jazz - I feel the Jazz got two impact players in this draft and are assembling great assets with their club. Enes Kanter has a chance to be one of the best players in this draft and gives the Jazz a legitimate Center. Alec Burks, if he can hone his outside shot, could be one the top 5 talents in this draft. They have some nice young pieces in Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and Devin Harris to go along with these two picks. It will be interesting to see what they do with all the Power Forwards they have.
2) Charlotte Bobcats - Look, the Bulls have a great pick with their future pick and it just got better. The Bobcats won't improve for a while, but they got two instant impacts for their team. Kemba Walker has a chance to be a really good player if he is coached right and Bismack Biyombo is instant impact on defense regardless of age.
3) Golden State Warriors - The Warriors drafted the best pure shooter in the draft in Klay Thompson who also possesses one the best basketball IQ's in the draft with average athleticism. The Warriors then gambled on project big-man, Jeremy Tyler, but he has a chance to be good if he can figure it out (big if though). Last, the Warriors picked the steal of the draft in Charles Jenkins at pick 44. Jenkins can play either position, is fundamentally strong, average athletically, and hits big shots.
4) Chicago Bulls - This is based on if Nikola eventually comes to play for the NBA, but at pick 23, the Bulls got lottery talent. Jimmy Butler is a hard-nose player that will drive opposing wing players nuts.
5) Boston Celtics - While the Celtics may not have picked impact players, they picked up two potential solid players in the draft. If JaJuan is able to add a little weight, he could be a really good player in the NBA. He adds a great mid-range jumper for a Power Forward, is very athletic, and has a long wing-span with good shot-blocking skills. He could learn a lot from Kevin Garnett.
E'Twaun Moore is a steal at pick 55. If he was an inch to two inches taller, he would be a mid first-round pick. At 6'4 he has a long wing-span at 6'9. He can do a little bit of everything as he can shoot a little (needs to be consistent), can handle the ball a little, can slash to mid-range, shoot off the picks, and play solid D.
6) San Antonio Spurs - While it is a risk to trade a young, promising player in George Hill, you have to give to get. It is unlikely Tony Parker would have fetched much more due to his age. I think the Spurs are starting to see they need to get some young talent and they just loaded up for the future. Kawhi Leonard has a chance to be a Gerald Wallace type and that could help right away. I am a little surprised they took Cory Joseph in the first, but he has some skills that could develop if coached right and I don't know any coach better at developing players that Coach Popovich.
In the second round they got two players to store overseas and develop in Davis Bertans and Adam Hanga. Davis at 6'10 is a very skilled shooter that can get a shot off in a hurry. Can he defend anywhere at the next level is the question. Adam is a great athlete that can score and shoot. If he can develop defense, he is one of those great steals in the draft.