Earlier this afternoon Vin Parise of the NBC Sports Network tweeted that the Chicago Bulls were planning to select Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor with the 29th pick in tonight's NBA draft. Needless to say, this is the worst possible choice the team could have made.
First of all, before I go into full on rant mode, I can understand the Bulls' reasoning. Derrick Rose could miss all of next season recovering from ACL surgery, so it's only fair the team be in the market for a short-term point guard who can at least handle his distribution duties until he returns. This player doesn't need to put up a lot of points, just get his teammates the ball and let them do the work.
That being said, Taylor is one of the worst possible choices for the Bulls. He may look like a point guard at 6'3", 185 pounds, but he is a shoot-first kind of player and not necessarily a distributor. In his senior year with the Jayhawks, he averaged 17.4 points and 4.8 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 38 percent from long range. Over his four years in Lawrence, he averaged just under four assists per contest.
If this young man ends up in Chicago, it's going to spell disaster for the Bulls next season. Based on his approach to the game, he's going to try to do all he can to make up for the scoring Chicago is losing with Rose on the bench. That's about 21 points per game or more, and with the seven or eight assists being thrown right out the window, Taylor looks like an even worse choice.
That isn't to say drafting Taylor is a total mistake. If he gets significant minutes and shows good scoring ability, he could be used as a valuable trade chip once Rose comes back, or even as a bench shooter. Yet, in terms of filling in for Rose this year, he is one of the worst choices.
Bulls GM Gar Forman should if he is set on drafting a point guard, pick a pass-first man with an average scoring touch, like Scott Machado of Iona or even Kentucky's Marquis Teague, should he fall down that far. All the Bulls need is a distributor to get the ball to Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. Nothing more, nothing less.
Instead, it seems team management has gone into freakout mode over the prospect of being without Rose for a season, and instead of looking for a suitable passer or even a forward who can help spell Deng, they are hell bent on replacing the scoring they lose with Rose's injury.
Either way, despite being a New York Knicks fan, I'm legitimately happy the Bulls are back to being serious contenders. One can only hope this draft decision doesn't set them back a few years.