With the 20th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft the Chicago Bulls select: Player X. The Bulls could use some roster helpm and with the draft steadily approaching, what better way to acquire an influx of talent?
It is the hope that Player X turns out to be a diamond in the rough. Many NBA observers believe that this draft class is thin on top-level talent. Usually, there are at least 10 to 15 athletes who turn into solid contributors on their teams, but if a general manager is seeking the next LeBron James, he will have to settle for perhaps, the next Ray Allen.
Being compared to a future Hall of Fame sharpshooter is not the worst thing in the world. It is a compliment, but it's the best that it gets in this draft.
By the Bulls picking 20th, the cream of the crop will have escaped the grasp of the franchise.
The Bulls have drafted well over the past three seasons, snagging the likes of Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and also the promising Marquis Teague. Given the Bulls’ success in the draft, fans must have faith that another solid player will be selected this time out as well. He should be a player who fits their needs.
What Positions Do the Chicago Bulls Need to Fill?
With glaring holes at shooting guard and backup center, Chicago will have two picks to fill the vacancies. In a perfect world, these would be a shooter and a frontcourt player who can crack the rotation at some point during the season.
Barring a trade, the Bulls’ starting five is set, but the remainder of their rotation is in question. Unless a rookie can come in with the understanding of how head coach Tom Thibodeau wants his players to perform on defense, he will not see the floor. As long as the incoming rookies are coachable, the problems will be minimized to the usual growing pains of first-year players.
If the Bulls select a shooter first, he will likely have a better chance at cracking the rotation due to the lack of guards on the roster.
Any frontcourt player who the Bulls draft will have to play behind veterans Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Gibson. A rookie will only see significant playing time if foul trouble or injuries keep two of those three guys sidelined.
Who Should the Chicago Bulls Select?
NBA Draft experts have the Bulls going after several players.
Here are who some experts have Chicago choosing:
- ESPN’s Chad Ford – Mason Plumlee, Center, Duke
- DraftExpress.com – Tim Hardaway Jr., Shooting Guard, Michigan
- Sports Illustrated – Tony Mitchell, Power Forward, North Texas
- Hoopsworld.com – Tim Hardaway Jr.
- CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore – Allan Crabbe, Shooting Guard, California
Any player from the mock drafts would be a fit on the team. With the 2-guard spot being their weakest position, many have the Bulls addressing that area first. The direction the team takes will be dictated by whether they make a trade.
Is There Any Truth to the Trade Rumors?
According to ESPN’s Mark Stein, the Bulls engaged in exploratory talks with the Washington Wizards. A trade in principle would be for the Bulls to send two-time all-star Luol Deng to the Wizards for Emeka Okafor and Washington’s No. 3 pick in the draft.
Such a trade changes everything.
If the Bulls were somehow able to obtain a top-five draft pick, they would be after Indiana’s shooting guard Victor Oladipo, UNLV’s Anthony Bennett or perhaps Alex Len, the 7’1” center from Maryland.
Oladipo’s defense would allow him to become an immediate contributor. He is an athletic wing player with a high basketball IQ.
Bennett is a classic NBA tweener. He has the ability to score points in the post, and is also a good enough shooter to make shots on the perimeter. Several scouts believe he is NBA ready, and Bennett would clearly upgrade the Bulls’ offense.
Len, on the other hand, would need time to develop. Although Chicago is in win-now mode, they can afford to develop him over time because the trio of Noah, Boozer and Gibson are among the NBA’s best frontcourt trios.
Many of the rumors about the Bulls fielding offers for Deng in order to move up in the draft are purely speculation at this point. We will not find out their plans until draft night. As of now, the Bulls have just the No. 20 pick in the first round.
Who Should the Chicago Bulls Choose at 20?
Tim Hardaway Jr. has the ideal height (6’6”) and the three-point shooting touch that the Bulls desire. If he is selected, though, he must improve his shot selection. Below are his shooting percentages (courtesy of DraftExpress.com), according to the type of shots he attempted.
Adapting to the NBA game will be Hardaway Jr.’s challenge. Where the Bulls are drafting, he is an ideal fit.
The other possibility is Duke's Mason Plumlee.
Not only does he come from a high-profile university, but he is an athletically skilled frontcourt player with upside. In Chad Ford’s notes, he says that Plumlee would be a steal if he is available when the Bulls make their selection.
Ford also made second-round predictions. He has the Bulls taking little-known Brazilian player Alexandre Paranhos with the 49th pick.
Paranhos was discovered by current NBA veteran Leandro Barbosa. His attributes are detailed in a recent TrueHoop article by ESPN's Henry Abbott.
He is described as a player with a LeBron James build who has excellent ball-handling ability and a great shooting stroke.
Should the Bulls be bold and take him in the first round? Players like Paranhos are the type who make the NBA draft interesting.
On Thursday night, we will find out which draft expert was on the money.