The team owns a pair of first-round picks (Nos. 16 and 19) as well as a second-rounder (49th overall).
Unless they pull off a blockbuster deal, the Bulls will not land a franchise-changer such as Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Dante Exum.
And you can forget about scoring machine Doug McDermott, who likely won’t make it past the top 10. That’s a shame, though, because it would be fun to see “Dougie McBuckets” and “Jimmy Buckets” (Jimmy Butler) on the same team.
Anyway, this is a deep draft, meaning the Bulls can come away with a couple of impact players.
Prospects such as Cleanthony Early, Tyler Ennis and Adreian Payne would all look great in red and black next season.
Let’s look at scouting reports for three of the team’s top targets.
The Bulls don’t care much for Duke players. Over the past 15 years, the only Blue Devils to play in Chicago are Elton Brand, Jay Williams, Luol Deng, Chris Duhon, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy.
OK, the Bulls obviously love Duke products. So why not go after Rodney Hood as well?
Hood, a 6’8” small forward, has great size and could instantly become a dangerous weapon off the bench. He averaged 16.1 points per game last season, forming an entertaining one-two punch with Parker.
He’s known for his lights-out shooting ability, knocking down a stellar 42 percent of his three-point attempts. Equipped with a high release, he doesn’t struggle to get his shot off.
Hood is blessed with a quick first step, allowing him to easily blow past defenders on the way to the basket.
He’s able to remain on the court for long periods of time, making him a nice fit for the Bulls. We all know how coach Tom Thibodeau likes to give his players a boatload of minutes. Luol Deng and Butler can surely attest to that.
In addition, Hood is a solid passer who shot an outstanding 80.7 percent from the foul line.
While Hood brings quite a bit to the table offensively, he isn’t an elite defender by any stretch. Appearing uninterested defensively, he’s often late to contest shots.
When it comes to rebounding, he’s no Dennis Rodman or Kevin Love. In other words, he isn't a "glass-cleaner." He averaged only 3.9 boards per contest, and his lack of upper body strength had a lot to do with that.
He doesn’t get to the line as much as he should, attempting fewer than four free-throw attempts per contest.
Michigan’s Nik Stauskas isn’t expected to be around at No. 16. NBADraft.net currently has him going 13th to the Minnesota Timberwolves. But if he is still around, the Bulls would be foolish not to take him.
The 6’6” Canadian guard, who owns a picture-perfect jump shot, could provide the Bulls with much-needed scoring punch. With Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. leaving for the NBA last year, Stauskas stepped up and led the Wolverines with 17.5 points per game as a sophomore.
Stauskas is perhaps the top shooter in the entire draft. He shot 44.1 percent from three-point land during his two-year career at U of M. The Big Ten Player of the Year possesses a deadly pull-up jumper and delivers in catch-and-shoot situations as well.
Luckily, Stauskas is far more than a one-trick pony. Whether it’s driving and dishing or hitting the roll man, he knows how to get his teammates involved.
A solid ball-handler, he can get to the basket and finish above the rim. Check him out posterizing the entire Florida State hoops squad.
Yeah, he's definitely more than just a shooting specialist.
Like Hood, Stauskas’ defense is pretty much nonexistent. His arms are relatively short, owning only a 6’7” wingspan.
SB Nation’s Ricky O'Donnell made a nice point concerning his defensive ability or lack thereof: "Who is he going to defend? Look at some of the other shooting guards on elite teams in the East—from Dwyane Wade to Terrence Ross to Lance Stephenson—and there's a good chance Stauskas would get eaten alive by those guys. You might not even be able to play him in crunch-time if that's the case."
Stauskas can be a bit inconsistent. Although he reached the 20-point mark on several occasions, he combined for 10 points in losses to Duke and Indiana.
Point guard Derrick Rose—who has missed a ton of games due to knee injuries—will return to the Bulls lineup next season. It’s unclear who will back him up, though, as both Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin are set to be free agents.
Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier could be the man for the job. After helping the Huskies capture two national championships, he would bring a winning attitude to the Bulls locker room.
Apparently, Washington Wizards star John Wall thinks highly of him, via J. Michael of CSNWashington.com: "He's got to be the first point guard taken, in my opinion, (with) the way he finished the season."
Napier is competitive, fearless, confident and tough as nails. Because of that, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him have a long, successful NBA career.
Averaging 18 points per game as a senior, he can knock down jumpers in his sleep. He shot 44.8 percent from the field, including 40.5 percent from beyond the arc. And he can get it done at the charity stripe, hitting 87 percent of his attempts.
Napier can do basically anything on the hardwood. In addition to his unstoppable scoring and efficient shooting, he can distribute the ball (4.9 assists), rebound (5.9 boards) and play quality D (1.8 steals).
What team doesn’t want a player who can contribute on both ends of the floor?
Napier has a knack for making big shots, but sometimes he tries to do too much. His decision-making skills can be questionable, and he over-dribbles and forces shots on occasion.
At 6’0 and 175 pounds, he isn’t the most intimidating player on the planet. Bigger and stronger point guards in the Association will be able to post him up and take advantage of his size.
While he can easily take his man off the dribble and get to the rim, he may struggle to finish in the pros.
Napier lacks the explosiveness and the athleticism of many NBA point guards, which could be a concern.
All stats are from Sports-Reference.com.
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