2011 draft review

2011 draft review

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.

Filed under: Draft Coverage

Tags: Bulls Draft Review


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  • I find it funny that Boston got both Purdue guys. I also thought Denver had a nice draft in getting Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton, making their team even more deep. Along with the trade that brought them Andre Miller. I also thought Portland grabbed Nolan Smith way too high at 21.

    Kevin, thanks again for doing all of the draft profiles. I hope you can come back next year.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Denver had a great draft and keep stockpiling talent and assets. I really like Faried for this team. Hamilton is talented and could be a scorer off the bench but is strictly a power forward. Denver has a lot of good pieces, but they will need to consolidate that talent and get a near all-star type player.

    I think Trailblazers made a solid pick, but I really like that they grabbed Felton. Felton, if he can get in shape opens the floor up for Portland and gives them a better scoring option than Miller. Portland needs more creators outside of Alridge.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    I wonder how much Kenyon Martin has in his "tank". He might be let go because of Faried.
    He would be a good veteran guy to have on the bench or if Taj has to be traded for a SG.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Anyone know when Gar is going to talk on drafting Mirotic, now that the trade has finally been finalized?

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Im happy about the draft, but they still need a sg and i think the best way to get one is buy trade now i see ronnie brewer getting traded now.i also think the bulls need to take a look at scotty hopson i think he would fit well with drose and has good size..what do you guys think?

  • In reply to rjm43:

    Scotty Hopson, David Lighty, Demitri McCarney are undrafted potential training camp invitees. But with a lockout which may cancel the preseason will Thibs play any of those guys before his beloved Keith Bogans?

  • In reply to Edward:

    of course we all know the answer to that question. But what if we can sign some of these guys to contracts similar to the ones we gave to Lucas & Pargo with the 2nd year being non guaranteed?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The non-guaranteed final year seems to be a technique Bulls will continue to use to make trades easier to execute. I guess its easy to get a player/agent to agree to this when the player is not in much demand and has no leverage (Lucas/Pargo/Bogans/Korver/Watson/Brewer) and that would include undrafted players a well.

    When a player is is highly regarded and in demand I assume the player/agent won't agree to the non-guaranteed final year (Boozer, Noah, etc.).

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Thought the Wiz did terrific too: Vesely (what a great kiss he gave his sister!); Singleton, and Mack. All solid in my view.

    Other thoughts: Why aren't the Blazers given a ton of credit for essentially trading a good PG in decline (A.Miller) for a much younger, consistently underrated Ray Felton who showed what he could do when given consistent minutes is New York.

    Also, with Knight falling to the Pistons it looks like Stuckey will be moved to the two guard. Do you think that the Pistons will keep both? Don't think so.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    ps, meant keeping both Hamilton and Gordon

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I am absolutely thrilled with Bulls trade up from 28 to 23 for so little (2nd and cash).

    Many thought Bulls would need to combine 28 and 30 to move up but Bulls did it for just a 2nd. There was a significant improvement in talent available at 23 over 28. Mirotic, Reggie Jackson, Marshon Brooks, Jordan Hamilton, JuJuan Johnson were all gone by 28 if Bulls kept their pick.

    Bulls have obviously learned from their mistake in 2007 when they had 49 and 51, thought Euro Marc Gasol would drop to them, and got burned when Gasol was taken at 48.

    Since then, Bulls traded up to secure their targeted player with Euro Asik and Euro Mirotic. Bulls learned from their 2007 blunder and made two shrewd tradeups for Euros in 2008 and 2011.

    With Nikola Mirotic and the Charlotte pick (neither of which will be traded), Bulls will reload with talent when Rose is 25-26. How cool is that?!?

    Now we just have to wait for the new CBA and Bulls acquisition of a SG.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agree'd. If you love a player, move up a couple spots to make sure you get him. Do your homework, find out who else likes him, then jump 'em. You have to believe the Bulls could have done this (albeit at a high cost) in 2003, when they thought Wade would last til 7 but instead went 5 in a surprise move by the Heat, yet the Bulls clearly loved Wade as a prospect.

    I'm from the school of thought where if you love a prospect, you make sure you doi your best to get him.

  • In reply to Edward:

    They could be traded, though I don't think anytime soon, and they shouldn't IMO. But imagine the kind of package those 2 chips could bring in say 2014, along with other pieces, maybe in a package to land a high draft pick. Either way, I agree with you, Bulls should be in for an influx of young talent when Rose is hitting his prime. I hope they keep the Euro draft pipeline open every June, like this strategy as a way to get lottery talent in a poor position, one in which we should be at every season now until Rose walks away.

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