The 2011 NBA draft is one of the weakest classes in recent years. While the top two players are in a tier of their own, after that the questions start piling up. The Bulls currently own picks 28 and 30 in the first round.
As we get closer to the draft more rumors begin to spread, who likes who, where have promises been made, and if those promises will be kept.
For Gar Forman to have a successful draft night, he should have five plans in place:
Draft a shooting guard
Buy a pick
Trade for a veteran
While no one knows how this draft will ultimately play out having all your options open is always the best thing in any draft room.
The Bulls need help at the shooting guard position. Scoring help from the 2 is a necessity for this offense, and Derrick Rose to continue to improve. If the Bulls stay at 28 and 30 these players should be at the top of their wish list.
Charles Jenkins from Hofstra, while he is undersized at 6'3" Jenkins can score off the dribble in the paint, knock down jump shots, and launch three's from beyond the arc. He is like the little train that could, if he thinks he can, he does. If the Bulls do select him,"Choo-Choo" should be his nickname. With a strong upper body he can get to the rim and finish or knock them down from the free throw line.
Malcolm Lee from UCLA, 6'6" shooting guard who is great perimeter defender, and can get to the rim. He lacks a long range jump shot and is inconsistent in the mid range as well. Can also handle the ball and play some point guard. He reminds me of someone already on the Bull's roster in Ronnie Brewer. Will also need to add weight to his thin frame.
Nolan Smith from Duke, 6'4" combo guard who is another good defender with high basketball IQ. Knocks down the mid range jumper with consistency. Lacks three point range. Quick first step and can get to the rim.
If I had my pick of the three it would be Charles Jenkins, I do not believe any of the three players above would be a starting shooting guard on a title team, they can however contribute and each bring something to the table that can help the Bulls. Jenkins off the bench would be an ideal situation as he can create his own shot and get to the rim when the offense isn't flowing.
Those trades that just did not seem to work out at the trade deadline might be revisited. O.J. Mayo or Courtney Lee could end up in a Bulls uniform Thursday night. If a team falls in love with someone still on the board when the Bulls picks are up, for the right pieces of picks and players the Bulls could improve their team with a player already in the NBA.
Even if it is not one of the two above, maybe a player that has not been talked about can enter the picture.
NBA teams can actually purchase a first round draft pick, they can spend up to $3 million in a trade for a pick. The Bulls did this in 2004 when they drafted Luol Deng, they sent the 31st pick in the draft in 2004, cash, and a future first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns for the seventh pick overall.
For this to happen this year owner Jerry Reinsdorf will again have to give the nod. The Bulls could trade both first-round picks and cash to a number of lottery teams who are rumored to want out of their pick.
While this is a lot like trading up, with the money part involved the Bulls may not even have to include both picks. Cash and the Charlotte Bobcats pick could be enough to move up to get the scoring help all Bull fans know we need.
The Bulls should not be afraid to be aggressive Thursday night. With the already mention two picks this year and the Charlotte Bobcats pick the time to win is now.
I already mentioned Klay Thompson as the player I desire the Bulls to target in a previous article. Some other shooting guards who will not be available late in the first round when the Bulls do pick who they should trade up to grab.
Marshon Brooks from Providence, 6'5" who is a big time scorer, can get to the rim and finish and knock down mid range jump shots with consistency. Improved his scoring every year while in college. Can help rebound, and ball handle.
Alec Burks from Colorado, 6'6" who is an elite finisher around the basket, can get to the rim on his own. Limited range on his three point shot but can knock down the mid range with consistency.
Klay Thompson from Washington State, 6'6 who can knock down a shot from anywhere inside of half court. Great basketball IQ, can also handle the ball, and pass. Lacks the elite athleticism of the other two players above.
Jimmer Fredette from BYU, 6'3" more of a combo guard. Jimmer can do anything and everything offensively. Can shoot from anywhere on the floor while creating his own shots off the pick and roll or running of screens. With the Bulls he would have to play shooting guard off of Derrick Rose. What he can do offensively he lacks defensively, but with a strong team defense concept the Bulls would have plenty of help around him.
The Bulls should not be afraid to trade either pick for a future first round pick, cash or both. If no player available would help the team win then what is the point in making the pick? The rotation is pretty much set, but some tinkering will be done for the right player. If a scoring shooting guard is available grab him with one pick.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, in a weak draft class I do not see any two way players available this late in the draft.