Athletically, Looney is smooth and useful defensively. He possesses above average straight-line speed and average lateral quickness. While he could show more vertical, I question if some of his average verticality is due to a lack of strength.
Looney possesses a tremendously long wing-span and has average power forward height at 6’10. However, Looney is near rail-thin and looks like it will take time to add to that build. Due to his lack of build, I am concerned how long it might take him to adjust to the NBA. Whomever drafts him will need to be patient with him as he has some skills, plays hard, and can rebound, but simply doesn't have the body for the league yet.
Looney shows an above average basketball IQ that is still developing. He shows great team-player skills by his unselfishness, solid ability to pass the ball, and he plays hard.
Looney’s calling card is his ability to rebound along with his ability to show flashes of other skill-sets. While he is rail thin, Looney was able to average over 9 rebounds a game as a Freshman in 30 minutes per game. He also showed flashes of a perimeter jumper by hitting near 42% from 3, albeit on only 1.5 attempts a game. Looney also shows a little defensive versatility by being able to switch onto the perimeter when needed. While his block numbers do not show it, he has the potential to be a shot blocker once he adds more strength.
While Looney has many strengths in his rebounding, defensive versatility, promise of a jumper, and hard-working, he also possesses many big-time weaknesses. Despite showing glimpses of an outside shooter, offensively, he is not a consistent shooter as evidenced by his 63% free-throw shooting. Looney has no post game and it is unknown if he can develop one as he is too weak right now. While showing some handles, he does not have great blow-by speed to at least get into the lane. He also does not set great screens again as he is too weak right now.
Defensively, while an excellent rebounder, Looney is too thin to guard post players. While not a slouch athletically, Looney is not a great athlete either and therefore is not someone you can regularly count on in pick-and-roll switches.
Overall, Looney presents to be a nice player down the road assuming he can add some weight. However, he is a project player meaning that while he plays hard, shows intangibles, and can rebound, can he be good enough to even play meaningful minutes? Will adding weight allow for him to play faster, stronger, and quicker? It is possible as lack of strength hinders him, but he still shows many other great traits despite being overmatched. It will however, take at least 2-3 years before I think he will be ready to play any minutes in the NBA assuming strength will be the difference between him being a solid NBA player or not sticking in the NBA.
Fit with Bulls
While the Bulls could use some athleticism to their lineup and I am all about draft best player available at pick 22, I don’t know when and where he would play for the Bulls barring injuries. Looney has some intangibles and some unrefined skills, but he belongs on a team that has patience to develop him. While the Bulls could use some good young front-court players in addition to Niko, they need someone that can show versatility to at least play center; someone such as Bobby Portis (has the weight to do so). I think Looney is one of those players that could be good down the road, but in about four years when a he signs with someone else after one team gives up on him. I also believe Looney is the type of player that could be a lottery pick, or someone that is so raw that could slide down to our pick. I would still prefer to draft other players over him. Also, the Bulls need some toughness to their team, and I don't know if Looney is the guy to provide that.