The Bulls have done very well through the draft during the Paxson-Forman era. They have seven players on their roster they currently drafted. Only Kirk Hinrich among that group has not stayed with the team throughout his tenure.
The Bulls will have many options by the time the draft rolls around to pick number 16. Rumors abound about what GarPax will do. The Sporting News is reporting that the Bulls had talks with Orlando, Sacramento and Denver about moving up.
Chicago has had multiple talks with Orlando, both about the No. 12 pick and shooting guard Arron Afflalo, and with Denver about No. 11, but a source told Sporting News that the Bulls have also engaged with the Kings in a potential deal for the No. 8 pick.
There has also been talk that the Bulls do not want to have to be tied to two rookie contracts. They could take one american players and then draft a European player with the hopes of stashing him oversees until he's ready.
There has been a lot of speculation if the Bulls will and can bring over stretch four European star Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic's buyout and the Bulls willingness to pay it will play a big role in determining what the Bulls do in the draft.
There is also the prospect of keeping or moving the pick. Plus the prospect of making a blockbuster move as well. It has been rumored that the Bulls offered Mirotic, the 16th and 19th picks and either Jimmy Butler or Taj Gibson to Minnesota for Kevin Love. Plus there is the prospect of acquiring Carmelo Anthony through free agency or a sign and trade with the Knicks.
With an extremely deep draft this year, draft night could be wild. If the Bulls don't make a move, here are prospects that could help the Bulls immediately.
Adreian Payne 6'10 245, Michigan State PF
Payne played four years at Michigan State and improved each season. He has the qualities to be a good NBA Stretch four. He averaged 16.4 PPG and 7.3 RPG. He shot 79 percent from the line and 42 percent on threes. Payne also contributed 28 blocks and 15 steals.
Kyle Anderson 6'9 230 UCLA G/F
With Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich and the possibility of D.J. Augustin returning, the Bulls desperately need size in the backcourt. Comparisons (GASP!) to Magic Johnson with Anderson.
At 6'9 he ran two different offenses for UCLA during his two seasons in Westwood. After playing in a conservative system under Ben Howland, Anderson thrived under Steve Alford's more up tempo offense this season.
Anderson is a well rounded player that averaged 14.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG and 6.5 APG. He also shot 48 percent from both the floor and on three point attempts and 73 percent from the line.
Anderson has been criticized for a lack of quickness and athleticism, but his high basketball IQ and size in the backcourt and on the wing would make him a good fit in Tom Thibodeau's system.
Shabazz Napier 6'1 180 PG UConn
Although Napier would add another small player to the Bulls backcourt, his offensive prowess would give the Bulls another option in a team starving for offense.
Napier carried the Huskies to an improbable national championship this year. Seventh seeded UConn became the lowest seeded team to win a national championship since Villanova in 1985. UConn coach Kevin Ollie also became the first coach to lead his team to a national championship in his first NCAA Tournament since Steve Fisher with Michigan in 1989.
Like Kemba Walker three years before him, Napier appeared to get better as the games and moments became bigger. Napier averaged 18 PPG during the season, but eclipsed that number in five of the six Huskies NCAA Tournament games.
He averaged 21.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 4.5 APG in the tournament. After making just 7-22 from the floor in their tournament opener against St. Joseph's, Napier shot 31-60 the rest of the tournament. He also also hit 18-35 from beyond the arc in their last five games. He shot 31-33 from the line in NCAA Tournament.
Despite his lack of size, Napier would fit in well to the Bulls needs and system. With Derrick Rose coming off two major knee surgeries, Thibs is going to have to rely on a point guard to create his own shot and get to the basket. Nate Robinson and D.J. Augustin both thrived under Thibs the last two seasons. Robinson parlayed the 2013 season into a big contract with Denver. It's not a sure thing that Augustin will be back. With Rose's injury history, Napier would be good insurance should Rose get hurt again.
Rodney Hood 6''8 215 F Duke
With Simeon Alum Jabari Parker, Hood was the majority of Duke's offense in 2014. After one season at Mississippi State Hood transferred to Duke for his sophomore season. He averaged 16.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG and 2.1 APG this season.
Hood shot 80 percent from the line and 42 percent on threes. He would provide the Bulls with sorely lacking size. His slight frame might be worrisome to Thibs. How many minutes could he play and could he play defense physically enough for what Thibs demands?
P.J. Hairston 6'5 228, SG North Carolina/Texas Legends
After being ruled ineligible at North Carolina, Hairston played in the D-League this past season. He averaged 21.8 PPG, shot 87 percent from the line and 35.8 percent on threes. He became an offensive force for the Texas Legends. He turned the disappointment of having to leave Chapel Hill into a positive.
A year after taking Tony Snell would the Bulls take another average size shooting guard? The Bulls desperately need scoring Hairston would give them that. He has been criticized at times for not showing an interest on defense. Carlos Boozer rarely played in the fourth quarters of games this past season because of his lack of defense.
T.J. Warren 6'8 215 SF North Carolina State
The third member of tobacco road the Bulls should look at. Warren might have been College basketball's best scorer last season. He finished third in the nation in scoring at 24.8 PPG. Warren detractors are saying he could be a tweener who lacks athleticism. He description sounds like Charles Barkley coming out of college. NBADraft.Net says of Warren.
Where he stands now he should probably go in the mid to late 1st where he would be a valuable scorer off the bench with starting potential down the road .
Whatever the Bulls do in the draft, if they keep the picks, Thibs needs to trust the rookies. With Derrick Rose back and some sort of free agent signed, the Bulls should become a contender in the East immediately.
The 2014 draft is being touted as one that will be historic. It is being compared to the 2003 and 1984 drafts as one of the best ever. The Bulls can get building blocks that will be with Rose and Noah as they make a push for a championship over the next few seasons.
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