Due to a power outage in Deerfield, IL, the Chicago Bulls will move
their NBA Draft headquarters and media event from the Berto Center
practice facility to their home game arena, the United Center. And due to
a shooting/perimeter scoring outage in the Eastern Conference Finals,
the Bulls had to move from the NBA postseason to their summer vacation. So it’s assumed they will look at shooting guard first.
It’s very rare that the team with the best regular season record in
the NBA has three picks (two in the first round) the following June. And
that means the Bulls will almost certainly not add three rookies to
next year’s roster meaning they have the luxury of 1.) going after an
international product who might not sign right away 2.) take a chance on a
high-risk, high-reward “project.”
With the league lockout ready to grab hold July 1, this year’s
draft is even more mysterious and arcane than your typical draft. More
known unknowns, unknown knowns, unknown unknowns and known knowns than
usual. Sorry for going Donald Rumsfeldian there- but he did go to high
school a stone’s throw from the Bulls practice facility.
Here we’ll mock all three picks and show you some other possibilities.
This is a Paul M. Banks and David Kay collaboration
E’Twaunn Moore, swingman Purdue Boilermakers
Do they take the local (East Chicago, IN) kid who worked out at the Berto Center last summer? Go here to see why and why not.
Davis Bertans, SF, Latvia
With two of the final three picks in the first round, the Bulls can
get a little risky with this pick by taking Bertans. He is a pure
shooter and good size at 6’10? but we would hope he gets stronger and
continues to develop and them bring him to Chicago in a couple of
Shelvin Mack, point guard, not a combo guard, Butler Bulldogs
He’s experienced, and he’s a winner- which fits in with what the
Bulls usually do on draft night. And he’s already met Michael Jordan,
which means the Charlotte Bobcats are certainly interested. Mack
was the second-leading scorer (16.0 PG) for the 29-10 Bulldogs. A
second team All-Horizon League performer in 2010-11, he was named the Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Southeast Regional,
and All-Tournament Team at the Final Four for a second consecutive
year. He averaged 20.3 points in Butler’s six NCAA Tournament games.
Now we’ll move on to the players we believe will be “taking their talents to Oak Street Beach” Thursday night.
28. Chicago (from Mia via Tor)- Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA, 6-8, Soph.
Tom Thibodeau preaches defense and Tyler Honeycutt has the
quickness and length to be a solid defender in the NBA. He also gives
them some flexibility on the wing.
30. Chicago (from TOR via MIA)- Nolan Smith, G, Duke, 6-3, Sr.
failed to add some scoring punch off their bench prior to the trade
deadline and look to do so with one of their picks. Nolan Smith should
be able to play either guard position and possibly find a spot in
Chicago’s rotation right away. He kind of models his game after Chauncey
Billups, but he’s much more a combo guard than a true point.
I know what you’re thinking- how many Dukies does JohnGar Paxman (I
coalesced the two de facto GMs into one name there- see what I did?)
need on the roster? Well, this would make the roster 1/4 former Duke
Blue Devils, but you know what the front office likes to do on draft
night: go big school prospect with lots of college basketball
experience. The hope is he can give them an added boost off the bench.
Smith is not the true creator that the Bulls crave but the best option this late.
Plus, he’s a great bowler, once put up a 235 game.
43. Chicago (from UTAH)- Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia, 6-10, Jr.
Considering he could be taken in the late first round, Trey Thompkins
would be a great value here and add even more depth up-front for
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David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a fomer contributor at The Washington Times Communities. You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.
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