The Bulls own the 49th pick for the second consecutive year. Last year, they used it to draft Florida big man Erik Murphy, who was waived in April. Murphy’s Chicago career was obviously short-lived, but this year’s second-rounder (if they end up keeping the pick) may go on to have an impact in the Windy City for many years to come.
Chicago also holds two first-round picks (Nos. 16 and 19), which it could use on former college stars like Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier and Michigan State’s Adreian Payne. It will be interesting, though, to see who is selected with the 49th pick.
What second-round sleepers should the Bulls have on their radar? Should they target a draft-and-stash guy or someone who can help out immediately?
Jabari Parker definitely won't be around at No. 49, but Jabari Brown might be. The 6'4" Missouri guard provides both scoring and shooting, which are two of the Bulls biggest weaknesses.
This season, Chicago finished last in the league with 93.7 points per game and shot 34.8 percent from beyond the arc (ranked 24th).
Meanwhile, Brown averaged a SEC-leading 19.9 points and hit 41 percent of his three-point attempts last season.
He also has a knack for getting to the line, attempting an impressive 7.8 free throws per contest.
Brown isn’t exactly a world-class, lockdown defender. However, the Bulls already have a few of those guys in Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and possibly Kirk Hinrich if he re-signs.
Chicago desperately needs scoring punch, and that’s exactly what Brown brings to the table.
Although Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t necessarily a fan of playing rookies, Brown could pick up some minutes due to his ability to put the ball in the hoop.
If he’s still available when the Bulls are on the clock, they shouldn't hesitate to scoop him up. This kid has the words “draft steal” written all over him.
Why not use another second-round pick on a Florida big man?
Patric Young, Murphy’s former college teammate, and someone who views Noah as a role model, would fit in nicely with the Bulls.
Not known for his scoring, the 6’10” Young is easily one of the top post defenders in the entire draft. He’s extremely physical and has what it takes to intimidate opponents on a nightly basis.
It wouldn’t take long at all for him to emerge as a Thibodeau favorite. As every Bulls fan knows, Coach Thibs simply loves players who commit to defense.
Mark Strotman of CSNChicago.com wrote about Young’s defensive ability:
His real worth was found on the defensive end; as a senior he grabbed 6.2 rebounds and more than a block in 26 minutes per game and, per Synergy, allowed 0.696 points per possession, ranked in the 90th percentile among all Division I players. With those numbers—along with his stocky 6-foot-9 frame that make him look more like a defensive end than a center—comparisons to both Ben Wallace and DeJaun Blair inevitably and accurately have arisen.
Young’s offense is decent as well. He can hit the occasional jump hook and is capable of finishing at the rim with thunderous, rim-rattling dunks.
Chicago is the perfect place for him, as fellow Florida alum Noah can take him under his wing and teach how to be a productive NBA center.
Young was given great advice from two-time All-Star, per Strotman:
"I remember he said, 'Pat, I got paid—however much his contract was—just for defense and rebounding.' (Noah) said just find your niche, stick to it and don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.
Noah was right. Young does have to find his niche, even if it is just playing D and cleaning the glass.
By drafting Young, the Bulls just might acquire the next Ben Wallace, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
Throughout NBA history, we’ve seen plenty of exciting players under six feet. Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson may be next in line.
Standing at 5’11”, Carson actually tied Oklahoma State’s Markel Brown for the highest max vertical leap at the draft combine (43.5"). That’s an insane vertical leap. Watch him here throw down a crowd-pleasing between-the-legs dunk:
Carson’s mind-boggling speed and quickness as well as his elite ball-handling skills allow him to get to the basket easily.
He averaged at least 18.5 points in each of his two seasons at ASU. And back in November, he dropped 40 on UNLV, hitting 16 of his 25 field-goal attempts.
One of the biggest knocks on Carson is his height. Apparently, though, he isn’t too worried about it, via Doug Haller of AZCentral.com:
I look at it the same way (the bigger guards) look at me. They don't have the size I have. I'm 5-10, they're 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 but they have to guard me the same way I have to guard them. I've never really looked at (my size) as an obstacle, something that I have to overcome, I just look at it as a blessing.
Depending on what happens this summer, the Bulls might need to add a few point guards to back up Derrick Rose. Both D.J. Augustin and Hinrich are free agents and could decide to bolt town.
If the team drafts Carson, he could wind up becoming the third point guard on the depth chart next season.
Backup point guards have found success over the past few years in Chicago. The names C.J. Watson, John Lucas III, Nate Robinson and Augustin come to mind. Perhaps Carson will eventually be added to the list.
All stats are from Basketball-Reference.com.
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