Looking at the past draft shows the great disparity of quality that can be found from one draft to the next. Tony Snell looks like a fringe NBA player to me, yet if we were to redraft this draft he might actually go considerably higher in the draft than he did.
The vast majority of rookies aren’t even finding their way onto the court. The majority of the ones that are, are making Tony Snell’s 39.9% FG% look a bit better than it does in a vacuum. Victor Olidapo and Michael Carter-Williams seem to be just about it when it comes to this draft so far.
Perhaps when he comes back from his ACL injury Nerlens Noel will prove himself worthy of the number one pick he was projected to be prior to the ACL injury. However, guys who looked like sure fire scorers have fallen flat. Anthony Bennett, Otto Porter, and Ben McLemore all look like busts.
It’s more evidence that it’s not the pick, but the draft you have the pick in. The 2014 draft may be a bit over hyped, but after the dud in 2013 it’s easy to see why.
As for Snell, he’s eighth in minutes played, 11th in points per game. Scary given that he’s not particularly impressive in either category. Strangely though, watching Snell, he looks like he can become a valuable rotation player for a team. He needs to improve the consistency of his shot some, perhaps gain a bit more aggressiveness off the bounce, and get just needs some experience defensively.
In a year? It’s easy to imagine that Tony Snell’s a guy who can play 25-28 minutes a night for a team and provide three point shooting, defense, and enough off the dribble game to keep teams honest while playing relatively mistake free basketball and never trying to do too much.
That’s not the mark of a great player. It’s probably the mark of a guy worth the three million to the MLE when his rookie contract ends. Compared to this draft class though? That might just make him a top 10 player in this draft when all is said and done which says more about his draft class than it does him.
The good news for Chicago? It looks that though there was certainly some criticism of this pick, the Bulls may have managed to identify a quality player in a sea of non quality players. Not bad Chicago, not bad at all.
Bulls Wizards battle it out for 5th seed
The Wizards snapped the Bulls league wide high five game win streak last time they played [seriously, would you have imagined post-Rose injury there was a point the Bulls would have a league high win streak?], and both teams won their next game. They currently sit in a tie for 5th in the East at 18-19.
Chicago’s looking to climb back up to the .500 mark which is both a compliment to how bad ass Tom Thibodeau is as coach and a show of how pathetic the Eastern Conference is in general.
I’ve been staunchly tank in the past, but I just can’t see the Bulls missing the playoffs in the East. It’s just not bad enough, the players care too much, and well Joakim Noah humiliated me by calling me not a real fan. [I get it Jo, but us fans, we play arm-chair GM, not arm-chair center, I wouldn’t want you to think any other way].
Now? Well, I figure if the Bulls are going to be in this thing, they might as well win a playoff series. I love this team. I love it’s fight. I love that despite an injury to their superstar and a trade of their second or third best player for salary relief that the team is still fighting hard. There’s no quit.
It’d be an incredible statement if the Bulls made it to the second round with this group. I won’t be upset of they somehow find themselves outside the playoffs when they happen. I’ll rejoice in having a better pick, but given the Bulls can’t get into the tremendous pick range, I’m good with them winning around and giving fans something to cheer about.
They can take a step towards that by beating Washington tonight, and given the Hawks injury problems, it’s quite possible that this could be a preview of a playoff matchup in the four/five seeds. The East is awfully bunched up, so it could go in virtually any direction though as neither of these teams are even locks to make the playoffs.
Still, I’m looking forward to a fun game with perhaps a little revenge on the minds of the Bulls after Washington beat them two games ago. Joakim, you’ve changed the mind of at least one tanker with your play, now let’s see how far you can carry this group.