2015 Other NBA First Round Possibilities

Unfortunately, I was not able to get to all prospects I like at our range. I even had a full write-up on Jerian Grant from last year when I thought he might declare to being out for a semester. I also really like the player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Tyus Jones and Bobby Portis will most likely be out of our range. Also, I have some knowledge, but not enough for some of the international players ranked from lower first round until mid second round. In addition, there will likely be some surprise player that no one thinks about that will sneak up into mid to late first round pick. Below are some write-ups on players likely to be just out of our range, or players I did not get to do an in-depth write-up. I will also do a brief write-up on some possible 2nd round sleepers I did not get to cover.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6’7, 210 lbs., SF, Arizona, Sophomore) – All the intangibles you want in a player. Hollis-Jefferson is a freak athlete, has a good understanding of the game, is tough, plays hard all the time, and can defend numerous positions. The problem with Hollis-Jefferson is that he has an abysmal outside shot. While the Bulls could always use a multi-dimensional player such as Hollis-Jefferson, we also need shooting or at least some resemblance at least to the mid-range. Right now he does not have that. He is basically a taller Tony Allen (a good player, but would he play enough to make a difference). If he gets a jump-shot, watch out.

Jerian Grant (6’5, PG/SG, 200 lbs. Notre Dame, Senior) – One of my favorite players in this draft that will most likely be about 4 or 5 picks outside of our range unless we find a way to trade up. While not a blaze burner, Grant is an above average athlete quickness wise along with being a crafty player offensively and defensively. Grant is has been streaky shooter throughout his career at Notre Dame, but is a good slasher that can finish in the lane with floaters and step-back jumpers. Also, Grant is a very good passer as evidenced by his near 7 assists a game. He would be a tremendous fit here as he can play shooting guard or point guard that offers nice versatility. He also has NBA genes by being the son of former NBA player Harvey Grant and the nephew of former Bull, Horace Grant.

Tyus Jones (6’2, PG, 185 lbs., Duke, Freshman) – Very good player that I feel is underrated going into this draft and will most likely just be out of our range also. While I would love to have a taller guard, he is at average height at 6’2. I don’t think he is the type of player that can be an all-star point guard, but a very good point guard, especially as a back-up.  Jones to me, is the smartest player in this draft and is very heady. He is very quick, a very good passer, a good shooter, and is clutch. Defensively, he will most likely struggle due to his size, but for the Bulls he would be a very good fit in running an offense while being able to score and shoot when needed.

Christian Wood (6’11, PF, 215 lbs., UNLV, Sophomore) – Skill-wise and body-wise, Wood reminds me of Austin Daye, but not near as smart of a player or as good of a passer. Wood has a good jumper outside, but is very inconsistent, can rebound, but needs to be tougher, and can block shots, but gambles too much. With weight, he can be Chris Bosh. My concerns are will he be tough enough as he is sliding in this draft.

Bobby Portis (6’11, C/PF, 250 lbs., Arkansas, Sophomore) – Very skilled player with a below the ground player. While Portis is not a leaper, he is somewhat quick vertically. Portis is skilled offensively as he can pass the ball, has a mid-range jumper, and some low-post moves. Defensively, Portis can switch on some players and is hard to back down defensively from the post. He struggles to block shots. In a way, Portis has some similarities as Zach Randolph. While not as good of a post-player, Portis is slightly more athletic and a better teammate entering the draft. I like his as a prospect, but he will most likely be right out of our range. If he falls, he would provide tremendous depth to the front-court in dire need of some youth.

Joseph Young (6’2, PG, 180 lbs., Oregon, Senior) – Great, skilled player offensively that has a chance to make a difference as a scoring point guard. In many ways, Young reminds me of Mo Williams with more speed and ups once getting into the paint. While not a traditional point guard, Young could be of a benefit for many teams looking for a point guard that has great range and also can get into the lane with an array of shots. Defensively, Young struggles, but he has the potential to be a solid defender. Also, Young can set-up teammates, but does not hit the open shooter enough. Overall, I think he would be a great fit for Fred Hoiberg off the bench and with right mentorship, can be a very good back-up point guard.

Anthony Brown (6’7, SF, 210 lbs., Stanford, Senior) – Great 3-and-D guy that is a very smooth athlete. Brown is a very good shooter as evidenced by his near 45% from 3 percentage. Offensively, Brown is mainly a spot-up shooter, but can shoot off curls. Brown can occasionally get into the mid-range off of his handles during opportunistic times. Defensively, Brown has the tools to be good. He has great length, very quick laterally, and is a very good rebounder as evidenced by near 7 rebounds a game. While I would like more play-makers for the Bulls, I really like Brown in this draft and would find him a very good fit for the Bulls, especially in providing versatility.

Kelly Oubre (6’7, SG, 205 lbs., Kansas, Freshman) – A very athletic swingman that has many tools on both sides. Oubre is a very good athlete, a very streaky shooter, and can defend when he puts his mind into it. Oubre is also very raw, does not always put in consistent effort, and does not have one skill outside of athleticism that is developed right now. I think he is the ultimate boom/bust player in this draft and I think he will take time to develop at this level. For this reason, even if he falls, I am passing on Oubre.

Sleeper - Michael Frazier - (6’5, SG, 200 lbs., Florida, Junior) - Michael Frazier to me is the best shooter in this draft. He is also not much of a slouch athletically and can be decent defensively with the right team. Overall, if reaching peak, Frazier could be an Anthony Morrow type player with better defensive potential.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • While the Bulls are always in need of more elite shooting, they are also in need of another elite wing defender. RHJ is the best wing defender in the draft and second best overall after WCS. Being a taller Tony Allen is certainly not a bad thing. Allen has been a difference maker with his defense for many years. In fact Memphis was up 2-1 on GS until Allen went down with an injury, then GS steamrolled them 3 straight. If he can develop some semblance of an offensive game, wouldn't that make him the new Andre Iguodala.

    With Grant almost certain to be gone, I'm hoping the Bulls have a choice between Delon Wright and Jefferson. That would be a tough call, but I guess a solid 3rd guard might just be the bigger need right now since I doubt that we are finding a legitimate starting SF at 22.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Both Wright or Jefferson could fill a need and be really good - or not. I feel both are fairly safe picks with decent upside, especially Jefferson. Either could be a steal.

  • Thanks again Kevin for all the great reviews much appreciated.

    I've already said who I like in this draft, and at this point it's pretty much a wait and see. Again, one thing you don't hear much about in draft conversations unless there are red flags is a guy's personality. People may disagree, but often(not always by any means) successful NBA players to me just have a presence about them whether they are outgoing or a little more on the quiet side.

    Maybe as a I get older I'm just more sentimental, but guys who appear to be notable and just interesting as people often make better professionals and players I like to watch and root for frankly.

    This year my impressions are muted as I didn't get to watch anywhere near of what I normally do of my upper tier prospects in on court, sideline/timeout, and interview interactions. Still, guys who stand out to me as people would include Tyus Jones, Delon Wright, Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, Joseph Young, Michael Frazier, Pat Connaughton, Kevon Looney, and Anthony Brown.

    Let me be clear though, this isn't the "Nice guys" club. Some of these guys appear more adversarial and rough on court, but off court are more dynamic and interesting to hear from and see.

    Finally some people mentioned Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as a top choice ala Tony Allen. Myself, I'm not that excited about him. He's a difference maker at times, but I like teams like GSW and the Spurs where pretty much every player is a scoring option. Though Tony Allen did have two great playoff seasons in recent years so I get it.

    Anyhow, for those who like Jefferson good luck to you just the same. Guys I like in Rozier for example could turn out to be shooting duds so it's always a roll of the dice particularly after say the No. 10 pick/area.

    Good luck to everybody, and here's hoping the Bulls get a nice young player who can bring something to the table offensively and sooner as in year one or two rather then later as in three or four years out. Jerian Grant or Delon Wright seem like the guys who might be called on draft night, but time will tell. Rashad Vaughn if he's still around maybe a sleeper..

Leave a comment