Selecting Rose was not a slam dunk. Can’t-miss prospect Michael Beasley from Kansas State impressed the scouts with the ability to score from inside and the perimeter.
In 2008, the choice for the Bulls was easy. They only had to decide between two players.
As the Rose vs. Beasley debate raged on, fans in Chicago clamored for the hometown prospect. At times, someone outside of Chicago held different sentiments.
Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com wrote an article about why he would have chosen Beasley over Rose at that time.
In the end, the Bulls made the right pick by getting Rose, while Beasley has yet to find a team where he can be a long-term fixture.
Where do the Bulls stand in 2013?
The NBA draft combine came and went with a few players improving their draft stocks. The Bulls will be looking for a player whom they hope can crack the rotation next season with the No. 20 pick.
What Are the Bulls’ Needs?
If you ask Bulls fans, they will quickly tell you that they need for Derrick Rose to come back healthy. His return to the team would arguably be the biggest addition that any NBA team will have during the offseason. As great as Rose can be, he cannot fill all of the Bulls’ needs.
The Bulls were undermanned against the Heat during the best-of-seven series. There was an apparent lack of frontcourt depth. As a result, center Joakim Noah averaged 38.4 minutes versus the Heat.
Losing Omer Asik to the Houston Rockets left the Bulls with a hole in the center position. It is a hole that must be filled.
Scoring is another need for the Bulls. If the Bulls can find a center or a power forward who can score while coming off the bench, it will solve two problems at once. If such a frontcourt player is unavailable in the draft, then the team has to consider the best scorer who is on the draft board.
Who Are the Websites Suggesting the Bulls Draft?
Looking at five mock drafts, each observer has the Bulls selecting a different player.
Here is who they choose:
- ESPN Chad Ford’s Mock Draft 2.0: Mason Plumlee, Power Forward, Duke
- NBADraft.net: Giannis Adetokunbo, Small Forward/Power Forward, Greece
- DraftExpress.com: Tony Mitchell, Power Forward, North Texas
- Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com: Jeff Withey, Center, Kansas
- CBSSports.com: Allen Crabbe, Shooting Guard, California
Each player brings a different skill set to a team that can use plenty of help. Plumlee is an athletic forward who can run the floor and finish strong in the painted area. Adetokunbo is a good scorer, and so is Crabbe. Mitchell and Withey are rugged post defenders who can play either at power forward or center for the Bulls.
Do Any of Them Fit What the Bulls Need?
Each player would fill a need. The Bulls have to become more athletic in the frontcourt.
Drafting Plumlee would allow the Bulls to have a solid player who can run the floor and finish in the post. If there is a knock on Plumlee, it is the fact that he is not known as a scorer. He comes from a great basketball program in Duke, and by entering the draft as a senior, he is a seasoned college player.
Jeff Withey is also a senior and comes with a strong pedigree as a contributor to the Kansas basketball program for four seasons. He is a strong defender in the post who could bring the missing piece of toughness to the Bulls.
Mitchell is an excellent shot-blocker. The Bulls could use some help in this area. The Heat were able to attack the paint anytime they wanted to. Having Mitchell in the paint could change that.
Crabbe is a versatile scorer who has incredible range and is a great rebounder at his position. Drafting him would be a good insurance plan if the Bulls lose Marco Belinelli and/or Nate Robinson to free agency. But can he defend well enough to fit into Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s system?
The wild card is Adetokunbo.
He can score, but what else can he do?
The Nigerian has intriguing size (he is listed at 6’9”) and athleticism. His ball-handling and ability to finish at the rim are something that the Bulls do not have on their current roster aside from Rose. The final question is, can he adapt to playing against NBA competition?
Given the strengths of each player, if I had a say, the mystery behind Adetokunbo is worthy of the No. 20 pick of the upcoming draft.
While the Bulls need backups at the center and shooting guard position, the need for a player with a huge upside helps them in the interim as well as in the future.
Drafting Adetokunbo would be a move with the future in mind.