Draft Profiles: Kyle Anderson, 6’9, SF, UCLA, 225 lbs., Sophomore

Draft Profiles: Kyle Anderson, 6’9, SF, UCLA, 225 lbs., Sophomore

Athletically, Anderson is going to be slightly below average for any position. In fact, Anderson has an old-school game that is slow-man ball. Defensively, Anderson is probably going to struggle if facing opposing small-forwards because they are too quick. If Anderson is able to add about 15 pounds to his frame, then he might be better suited to guard opposing power forwards and would be a nightmare for opposing power forwards to defend. He's a very smart player and might be able to mask his athletic weaknesses.


At the small forward position, Anderson is slightly above average in height at 6’9, and is not rail thin. Stating that, Anderson must work on fine-tuning his body to a frame ready to take on the rigors of the NBA. His best position for the future might be power forward, but he needs to add plenty of good weight to fit in there.

Basketball IQ

Anderson might have the best basketball IQ in this draft. While skilled, how many 6’9 forwards can get almost 7 assists a game, run a team, rebound, set up many hockey style assists, get deflections, and read opposing teams? Because of Anderson’s skill level and basketball IQ, I have no qualms that he will be a successful player at the next level.


Skill-wise, Anderson’s best ability is being a point forward and seeing over opponents. Anderson while a below average athlete, is able to get to the lane by knowing how to use angles, using different speeds, hesitation dribbles, and great court awareness.

Also, Anderson does well in the mid-range area where he pass, put the ball on the floor, shoot, or make a crafty move to the basket. While not utilized often, he improved his three point shot to near 48% after shooting only 21% his freshman year. At 6’9, Anderson averaged near 7 assists a game displays impressive court vision.

Defensively, Anderson really struggles due to lack of quickness in guarding the perimeter. Anderson will likely get blown by opposing small forwards. UCLA also displayed a zone several times this year which will mean he will have an adjustment period in guarding man-to-man.

That said, Anderson is also a very smart player with a 7’2 wingspan. Anderson did well with averaging nearly 2 steals a game, forces players to take weird angels, and has good defensive anticipation.

Anderson also has deficiencies offensively. While a very savvy player, he averaged around 3 turnovers a game. He'll have to adjust to not being a ball dominant player in the NBA and his slo-mo style may not translate as well, especially in a different role.


I’ve struggled piecing together a great comparison for Kyle Anderson as there can be a little Hedo Turkoglu, Toni Kukoc, Lamar Odom, Boris Diaw, but the best comparison I can think of at his max is Jalen Rose without the ball-chucking and maybe a little more of a ball distributor. At this point, Anderson could go anywhere as high as pick 8 or 9 or slide all the way to early 20’s.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

While Anderson does not provide the defense that a Coach Thibs team might need, this guy can flat out play. His game is that of a slow-motion, but Anderson is not a total stiff out there. To me Anderson might have to adjust to being played by NBA small-forwards and athletes, but he usually is a step ahead of the game.

Because of his playmaking ability and the Bulls need of some more playmakers, I would be more than thrilled to have Anderson on our roster. I am very intrigued by Anderson at pick 16 and would love to draft him if Gary Harris is off board or someone else does not slide down from top 10.

My impressions

Overall, I think any team that drafts Anderson will have to mask some of his defensive defencies. However, Anderson is such an unique talent and a very versatile player with a high basketball IQ, that I feel he is going to be one of the top 8 or 9 players in this draft. The guy has a game that can create for others, understand where others need to be, and his shotmaking and jump-shot has immensely improved.

Anderson’s style will likely fit many teams, but to me he screams a playoff basketball type player. Meaning Anderson just has a flair for the dramatic, but also such a high basketball IQ in that he will do many little things that win big games. I feel Anderson’s game initially will be fit for coming off the bench and running a second unit. I do feel Anderson will be a very solid player with a chance to be a good player for a long-time.


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  • I've never watched UCLA play this year. Just watched some of his highlights. His offensive game remind me a little bit of Paul pierce (the paul pierce of last few years that has been pretty slow but still able to use his various moves to create space)

  • In reply to handushk:

    I think he could be, but Anderson is a better passer.

  • A high-IQ SF with limited athleticism? Sounds a lot like Deng! Only with better passing and perhaps more ability to make a play. Not exactly the dynamic talent we're looking for but in the mid-round, we could do worse.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    He is not much like Deng. Deng is a glue guy that can do everything solid, but awkwardly. He is limited athletically, but is fluid and very smooth with the ball. To me he has a chance to be a great off the bench guy.

  • He's not all that dynamic. I'm not sure he can break a defense down at the next level when it counts. I'm a bit mixed on this guy b/c we need a shooting guard. I'm more into Levine, his teammate as a higher upside SG - a definite two way player at the next level.

  • In reply to Granby:

    We do have 2 picks so we could still get Anderson & Levine. I will feel bad for Kevin if he goes through all this and we trade for Love or Carmelo on draft night...hahaha.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Many options are possible in this draft. As long as we are not salary dumping for crap, I'll be okay, lol.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Feel bad for Kevin but glad for us fans, especially if the Bulls land Love with an extension.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    If we get Love, then all is good!

  • In reply to Granby:

    You are correct in that he might not be able to break down opposing defenses. However, if he adds a post game (against small forwards) or goes against opposing Power Forwards with his handles, I feel he is going to be a mismatch. LaVine has some of the best upside in the draft - will he maximize it?

  • In reply to Granby:

    I agree we need a shooting guard who can shoot lights out so that Jimmy can play small forward. So talent evaluation aside Anderson doesn't sound like a good fit for the Bulls unless he could play shooting guard. I don't follow college ball, but I'm pretty sure that I read he played the point at UCLA much to the chagrin of Levine.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    We need playmakers in my opinion too. Unless we trade for Harris or Stauskas slides, I don't know if there is a starting shooting guard for next year on this Bulls team in the draft (unless we trade up). However, there are small forwards that can shoot in the draft and we can keep Jimmy at the 2 guard.

  • Is it crazy to think he can become a John Salmons like player? Seems like they have similar skill sets

  • In reply to nafsllub:

    I think the best way he can relate to Salmons is using unorthodox methods to get results. Anderson is more of a facilitator and setting up people that can score when needed. Salmons is more of a scorer. At the max, Anderson could be a more passing oriented Turkoglue or possible a more passing version of Rose. Does he get to that level? Either one of those players off the bench for this team would be great. Facts, even in a weaker defensive era and not as physical Big 10 - Anderson his sophomore year averaged near 7 assists and 9 boards - Rose averaged near 4 assists and 4.5 boards. I'm not saying Anderson will be as good offensively as Rose, but they are both slomo players. I am saying however, that he has potential despite being a slower player - will that translate however?

  • Wow, apparently my post disappeared. Shizzle. Anyway no time to re-write. I'd be excited if they drafted Kyle Anderson. By no means a sure thing, but who is? He could possibly fall especially with "slow-mo" combine numbers. At 16 a very nice pick-up, but if he dropped to 19 I'd be concerned at that fall in the eyes of NBA scouts. Nice review by the way.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Pretty much agree with you. I don't care if scouts miss on him. They have missed on several players before!

  • I just think the bulls who are already offensively challenged need guys who can run the break and shoot. Without Derrick Rose this year I can't even count the times we've had three on 1 breaks and I gotta cross my fingers because it's frankly a toss up on whether the bulls will convert. It doesn't seem like Anderson will push on the break and get us the easy baskets we need. And I don't think he's the best shooter we can get at that point in the draft.

  • In reply to furiou5styles:

    To me if he works out, he is one of the better offensive players. However, his athleticism could determine a lot too. He does get out in transition very well. I don't see him as a tweener offensively moreso than I see an extremely versatile player. However, he does have concerns due to athleticism.

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