For a couple of years now, the Chicago Bulls have been actively looking for a low-post scorer. After making the egregious mistake of signing the offensively-inept Ben Wallace to a ludicrous $60 million deal two seasons ago, the hole has yet to be filled.
They tried to pull off trades for KG and Pau Gasol, but to no avail. As a result of the surprisingly disappointing 2007-2008 season in which the young Bulls failed to make the playoffs, they entered Lotteryville.
And boy was luck on their side, as they miraculously won the number one pick in the draft despite a less than three percent chance. Now, the opportunity presents itself again in this year’s NBA Draft.
The consensus top two prospects in this year’s draft are point guard Derrick Rose and power forward Michael Beasley, both early entrants after impressive one-year stints on the collegiate level. Honestly, if there was no minimum age requirement in the NBA, these two would’ve never stepped foot on a college campus.
Analysts from media outlets are divided as to who will be the number one pick, with many leaning towards Rose. And yes, I can understand the case for Rose. First off, he is a Chicago native and would immediately increase season ticket sales.
The second obvious reason is that Rose is a rare, supreme talent with size, otherworldly speed and quickness, excellent decision-making skills, and an even-keeled demeanor.
Lastly, the Bulls have a young and athletic team that could relish in an open floor game under Rose’s command. However, let me reiterate—THEY DO NOT HAVE A LOW-POST SCORER! Aaron Gray, Tyrus Thomas, and Joakim Noah are not legitimate low post threats. This is why if I were the Bulls' management, I would pick Michael Beasley.
The man is a beast. Beasley averaged 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds and shot 54 percent from the field as a freshman. He had three 40-point games and ten 30-point games. And, as an added bonus, he shot 38 percent from three point range.
People, those numbers are insane! At roughly 6'9" and 235 pounds, Beasley possesses great strength, versatility, quickness, and athleticism. Some critics say that he is somewhat undersized to play power forward in the league.
I have two words for them: David West. West was doubted coming out of Xavier in 2003, even after winning a National Player of the Year award. He fell to the 18th pick and yes, he did struggle for a few seasons. But now, he is an All-Star and wreaks havoc on opposing teams in the post night in and night out. And, Beasley is much more talented than West (no offense Mr. West).
Now, of course, there are some areas of needed improvement. One, Beasley’s mentality is to score first, which leads him to taking ill advised shots in traffic. Although an above average defender, he does not always work hard on that side of the ball. Also, he is not a great passer out of the double team.
However, Beasley is still a kid at 19-years-old, which means he has time to mature and improve his game tremendously. He is undoubtedly a gifted scorer from all over the court as well as a ferocious rebounder on the offensive and defensive end. He has the ability to be a franchise player in the NBA and a perennial All-Star.
Mr. Jerry Reinsdorf, this may be your last opportunity to fill in this gaping hole. Don’t mess it up!