So according to the predraft mocks, the Bulls reached for Tony Snell with their first round pick. Let's remember for a moment that they reached for Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson while finding great value in drafting the sliding Marquis Teague.
I've learned not to put too much value in the evaluation of mock drafters compared to trusting in the Bulls own scouting department. The Bulls have done remarkably well with late picks in the draft, and quite honestly, I haven't watched enough college basketball to have an informed opinion. Here's what I can gather about Tony Snell though.
He's a really good shooter. He can shoot off the dribble. He can shoot off a screen. He can catch and shoot. He has NBA range. The Bulls came into the draft needing three things. Shooting, shot creation, and a fourth big man. Did they leave the draft filling those needs? Hard to say. Could they have filled all those needs? Probably not better than they did.
Snell, on paper, looks like a guy who can be molded into a good defender. He's got a near seven foot wing span, ridiculously low body fat, and should be able to fill up passing lanes. He's a high IQ player with a nice assist ratio, and seems like the type that could add a bit of off the dribble game if he can tighten up his handles.
In the end, I've gone through waves of disappointment and elation after Bulls draft day, but now, I'm going to sit back and have faith in the Bulls front office when it comes to scouting. Snell fits a lot of Bulls needs on paper, and Bulls liked him after working him out. Good enough for me for right now.
As for the 49th pick in the draft, we got a guy who plays PF for Florida and looks like David Lee, so that's got to count for something right? No idea if Erik Murphy is a guy who can play basketball at the NBA level, however, he sure as heck looks like a guy who could find a niche with the Bulls doesn't he?
He shot 45% from the three point line last season which is pretty damn awesome. Granted, unlike Snell and many other players, my guess is that he's not creating as many of his looks off the dribble which would enhance his percentages. Still, he launched 4.4 threes a game, so it's not like he shot an occasional three here and there.
He had a 9 foot standing reach, so while not having a huge wing span, he's at least playing as tall as Olynyk, Plumlee, Muscala, and Zeller who have similar standing reaches. He weighs 240 lbs and looks to already have some legit NBA muscle on him rather than being the typical big man who comes out of college and has to spend two years transforming his body.
His rebounding is disappointing for a big man, especially one that has as thick a body as he does, but I don't know if that's partially a function of his system. Clearly on offense he's likely hanging out to shoot threes rather than gathering offensive boards, but his numbers are low any way you slice it.
That said, he looks like a legit stretch four rather than big tall guy who can shoot but looks like an utter cream puff down low. However, since I've never watched a minute of Erik Murphy playing basketball, perhaps he's still a cream puff download and just looks pretty muscular. Don't know. A guy picked at 49 has a better shot of not making it on the team in most years than making it. I think Murphy makes the Bulls team and plays a limited role.
Reading up on the various players available, I think I like Tony Snell more than Tim Hardaway Jr for the Bulls. He's longer and a better shooter. I think Hardaway Jr got the mandatory NCAA bump in terms of his draft stock. Murphy looks like a guy who fits a niche the Bulls desperately need filled, so he's got a good shot to make the team as a late draft pick.
I'm not going to bother grading the Bulls draft now. I loved Marquis Teague and James Johnson and hated Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson on the day after the draft, so what would be the point? The Bulls took guys who fill needs on paper, and we'll just have to hope they're good enough players that they fill them on the court too.
No draft day trade for Chicago
Chicago was rumored to be very aggressive on draft day. They came out and said Luol Deng wasn't being shopped, and he's a big part of the future, yada yada yada, but I think Chicago aggressively looked to move him. Unsurprisingly, they found no takers. Deng's a good player, but as an unrestricted free agent in a year, it doesn't make much sense for a team to give up much to get him.
There's no sense trading up in this draft if you weren't going to get Oladip or McLemore [at least IMO], so the only thing you maybe wonder about is whether or not the Bulls could have traded down with say Cleveland and still landed Snell while grabbing another pick. That said, I'm not sure the Bulls really want to bring in more youth anyway, so I'm not sure it really would have mattered even if they could have grabbed Snell in a trade down scenario.
I can't say I'm surprised about the outcome, nor am I particularly disappointed. It would have been great to find a way to land LaMarcus Aldridge, but I don't see any reasonable way that could happen, and Portland didn't move him to anyone else either, so the possibility is as alive today as it was yesterday [which really isn't that alive].
Random amusing draft day thoughts
The ESPN guys reading Adrian Wojnarowski's twitter, reporting it on the air (including his mistakes), while mocking twitter at the same time? Kind of an epic fail right?
Also, how many times did we hear the phrase that a team was pressing the reset button because they drafted some dude? Sorry guys, no matter who you pick in the middle of the 1st round, it doesn't mean you expect that guy to replace the really good player at the same position. Usually it just means you think this guy could find a role on your team.
Especially when the draft is known to be weak in terms of talent.
No better example of this than when Portland drafted Grant Jerett with pick number 40, and I joked at the draft party "watch the announcers say this means they're trading LaMarcus Aldridge now", and despite the fact I thought no one could possibly say it, Jalen Rose made the comment [in apparent seriousness] about 10 seconds later.
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