Draft Profiles: Mitch McGary, 6’11, C, Michigan, 265 lbs., Sophomore

Draft Profiles:  Mitch McGary, 6’11, C, Michigan, 265 lbs., Sophomore

Athletic Ability

Athletically, McGary is above average at the Center Position.  He has great reaction and anticipation skills, great straight-away speed, very good mobility for a guy his size, but lacks great leaping ability.


McGary is physically built and has great size.  His should present matchup problems for opposing centers and players thinking of going to the rack.   His size will allow him to set great picks for his teammates to get open as well.

Occasionally, McGary would freeze defenders after setting a vicious pick and causing them to hesitate the rest of the game.  In this way along with his aggressive demeanor, he reminds me a little of an old-school player such as Bill Laimbeer.

Basketball IQ

Two years ago, McGary showcased some of the best basketball IQ in the NCAA Tournament with his ability to dominate the game without being a dominant scorer.  McGary showed the ability to master passing lanes and setting up teammates, when and where to set picks, and when to show up defensively.


McGary is not technically the most skilled player out there, but with his size and basketball smarts, he is usually ahead of the game.  Offensively, McGary is really not much of a low-post scorer despite his size.  That said, McGary showed flashes of a mid-range jumper that was developing as he was adjusting to the speed of the college game as a freshman.

Also, McGary is used to setting bone-crushing picks and does a good job of choosing to either pop or roll.  After developing off the pick, McGary knows how to read an opposing defense and set up his teammates with his great passing ability.

Defensively, McGary is a little bit of an enforcer in terms of using a stocky build to shield off opposing drivers.  Also, McGary can body up opposing low-post players and knock them out of the low post.  Surprisingly, at his size, McGary has solid lateral quickness and can hold his own on switches when called upon.

Despite this, McGary is not a dominant presence in terms of impacting the game as a scorer or a rim protector.   Offensively, McGary is a glue guy that can set up teammates.  Defensively, McGary can be scored upon since he is not a great shot-blocker or leaper.


McGary can set the tone of the game that might not be noticed right away.  He has a high basketball IQ, can rebound, set bone-crushing picks, pass, and is all over the court.  He should make whomever better because he portrays characteristics of a winner.

Also, some of his characteristics such as size, basketball IQ, relentless motor, and much more make me feel he is one of the safest picks in the draft.  In fact, I feel McGary is one of those players that thrives in a winning environment and will make playoff basketball type plays!

There are some giant red-flags with McGary.  Recently, he just got busted for use of marijuana which is reportedly the only reason he declared the draft this year.  This is on top of McGary being out with back surgery and being a young center with a bad back is a huge concern.  Will teams shy away from drafting this talent?

How does he fit with the Bulls?

While the Bulls need athletic ability and scoring, the Bulls also need bulk at the center position and McGary provides that.  If the red flags are cleared up, I really think McGary would flourish here and especially in having Thibs/Noah to help mentor him.

Noah can help McGary hone up his basketball savvy even more and show him tricks in NBA passing.  McGary could muscle up some low-post players that give Taj/Noah fits.  Other than a low-post scorer and other than Embiid and Jusuf Nurkic, I don’t see any centers that are better prospects than McGary for this team.

My Impressions

Overall, if medical/mental concerns are cleared, McGary is going to be a top 10 contributor in this draft due to size, smarts, and some skill.  I feel McGary is going to be one of those salty veterans that make key plays in the playoffs.  I think he is going to be a steal, but is most likely to being drafted in late first.


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  • If he's a legit 6'11" and can play centers straight up, I'd be happy with this guy, although it's not sexy. Bulls needs scoring and athleticism over back-up center, I feel. If they do get a center, getting a rim protector would be huge and he is not that.

    However, his game is similar to Noah's and we do need a big to absorb minutes. I agree he seems safe, with the upside of something like Noah, although he may develop a better mid range shooter. (There are some similarities like passing, could switch on D, and motor)

    I'd buy in if we get scoring/shooting/athleticism elsewhere - like the other pick and free agency. Rose coming back helps, but Bulls will need more!

  • In reply to Granby:

    His game is unorthodox like Noah. I feel like McGary is more Laimbeer than Noah.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I agree if he is a legit 6'11" and not 6'9" and he is both physical and relentless, as Kevin states(see what I did there) then he is my kind of bigman. Then again didn't we pick up Greg Smith to be that guy.

  • I'd be very happy if he and Nik Stauskas become Bulls.

  • In reply to GoBulls:

    Same here. Good news is there are options possibly to be had!

  • Thanks Kevin. You obviously like this guy. He did show some good work setting picks and some down low scoring. Right now mocks have him as a second rounder. His stats show he's somewhat foul prone 3.1 pg in 25 mpg. While he's an all out competitor on the court, some scouts question his work ethic and conditioning off the court. He has solid speed but he's not exceptionally quick or explosive as an athlete according to scouting sources I'm looking at. He's also older age of a college senior. He may end up as a heady role player, but he hasn't shown enough shooting/scoring ability to garner my interest. I definitely think there are better candidates, but if his post game develops and mid range it's possible he becomes a nice player for somebody off the bench.

  • Side note: While he also has issues(small lungs), late bloomer etc. but the dude can explode around the basket, shoot threes, score some inside, and rebound decently along with by all accounts excellent character that being Adrien Payne. If we go big and he's still on the board I'd love for the Bulls to take him. It also wouldn't kill me if they drafted Nik Stauskas as somebody mentioned him. Look forward to their profiles/discussion(hint, hint) kidding.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I like McGary, but I like some others too. There are many red flags with McGary that I don't have insider info. Stating that, he has a lot of moxie that works well typically on winning teams.

  • I would love to have Mitch on the Bulls. In my opinion, he would be a great fit to have come off the bench behind Noah. The intensity that he could bring may match that of Noah. I don't know if I'd take him as high as 19, though. I'd definitely grab him at the top of the 2nd round if they could make a trade. It may all depend on his medical report. He was considered a lottery pick before the injuries happened.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    I don't think you can get him for a 2nd rounder unless his health comes back in a negative way. I think if teams see him healthy, he will be an intriguing talent again!

  • As I remember him, he is a horrendous free throw shooter. Get ready for hack a McGary.

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