The Chicago Bulls Can't Pass Up Ricky Ledo in the 2013 NBA Draft

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The Chicago Bulls Can't Pass Up Ricky Ledo in the 2013 NBA Draft
Photo credit: slamonline.com

The Chicago Bulls own the 20th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. And with that pick, they need to select Providence guard Ricky Ledo.

Ricky who?   

The majority of NBA fans haven’t heard of him, seeing that he never played a second of college basketball. Ledo missed his freshman season at Providence as he was ruled academically ineligible.

Spending time at four high schools and not having enough credits had a lot to do with it.

Instead of staying in school to showcase his talent as a sophomore, Ledo chose to declare for this year’s draft. He is expected to go in the late first round or early second round. He likely would’ve been a top-five pick had he played a year of college ball.  

Coming out of high school, Ledo was rated No. 6 overall by Rivals.com, ahead of guys like Anthony Bennett and Marcus Smart.

He averaged 23.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest as a senior at South Kent School in Connecticut.  

Ledo would be the perfect shooting guard for the Bulls. He has the ideal height for the position (6’6”) and can score from nearly any spot on the floor.

“Sick” is the best word to describe his ball-handling skills. He has a knack for embarrassing defenders with a lethal “Which way did he go, George?” crossover dribble. Check out this video for proof.

As you can see, he’s the ultimate ankle-breaker.

Ledo’s game is similar to Los Angeles Clippers guard and former Bull Jamal Crawford.

See the resemblance?

Ledo’s elite ball-handling allows him to create his own shot. That’s something Jimmy Butler—who’s expected to start at shooting guard for the Bulls next season—cannot do at this point.

Ledo has the ability to separate from defenders and pull up for a shot off the dribble. He can also get to the basket with ease and throw down a thunderous dunk.

He’s a terrific shooter as well. Watch him do his best Reggie Miller/Ray Allen impersonation.

In addition, Ledo has a high basketball IQ and serves as a gifted passer capable of making his teammates better.   

Ledo isn’t a great defender, but he possesses the potential to become one. His D could definitely improve by landing in Chicago, as Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is basically obsessed with defense.    

More than likely, Ledo would rarely touch the floor as a rookie in Chicago. Thibodeau isn’t a fan of using first-year players—just ask Butler and Marquis Teague.

But like Butler, Ledo could emerge as a valuable role player during his second season in the league.

The Bulls could eventually start Ledo at shooting guard with Butler moving to small forward as Luol Deng’s replacement. Deng will become a free agent next summer, and there’s no guarantee he’ll re-sign. 

A backcourt of Rose and Ledo could entertain Windy City fans for the next decade, dazzling the United Center crowd with amazing highlights night-in and night-out.      

Perhaps Ledo would develop into the No. 2 scorer the Bulls have been trying to find for years.   

Ledo won’t be taken in the lottery due to his lack of experience. While there’s tape of him dominating high schoolers, no one got to see him perform on the collegiate level.

Another reason is that he’s associated with character and off-the-court issues. However, people can change.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph is a great example. Earlier in his career, it seemed as if he was always in some sort of trouble, whether it was picking up a DUI or punching a teammate. Nowadays, with his head on straight, Randolph is one of the top power forwards in the league.

Ledo can overcome his issues as well. Getting the chance to play for a possible title contender like the Bulls could certainly keep him focused on basketball.

The Bulls will likely draft a big man in the first round like Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng or Duke’s Mason Plumlee. While both of those guys could have long productive careers, passing up Ledo would be a mistake.       

In a few years from now, he’ll be considered the steal of the 2013 NBA draft. Just wait and see.

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