Making a Case for Jamaal Franklin

For the Bulls to ever reach elite level in the NBA they will need to add a legitimate secondary scorer that can be consistently relied on. All great teams have them. Rose needs a Robin to his Batman. Lebron has Wade (and Bosh); Durant has Westbrook; Parker has Duncan; Kobe had Shaq, then Pau, now Dwight. The need for an established secondary scorer is pretty evident by looking at the recent trend of teams that are winning titles. The league has shifted to the great players joining forces in an effort to create super teams to keep up with the trend. The Celtics Had a big 3 of Allen, Pierce, and Garnett with a developing Rondo. The Lakers had Kobe Pau and Bynum. The Heat have Lebron, Wade and Bosh. The teams that are actually winning the titles consistently are built around players who shined individually first. Dallas is the exception. They played great defense and were built around Dirk. They implemented great ball movement with veteran experience to become the exception, not the rule.

I believe the Bulls can become the exception. Jimmy Butler has developed very quickly in Chicago, but his ceiling is unknown. He hasn't shown the ability yet to be that reliable ball handler and shot creator the Bulls need. Instead of drafting guys that are basically just scorers who need their offense setup for them, the Bulls really need to draft an isolation player who is unselfish and has a great motor. Who is this guy and would he be available to the Bulls at 20?

Enter Jamaal Franklin. Franklin has shown he can be a reliable scorer and all around player. There are several ways to judge how well a player can become an offensive scorer. One is Free Throw Attempts. How often a player gets to the charity stripe is usually an indication of aggression and either craftiness or penetrating ability. Jimmy Butler has shown to be a very craft player that is developing his lane penetration. Franklin has shown some of the same attributes.

# 2 Free Throw Attempts Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted

#2 Free Throw Attempts Per Possession

Another stat that shows how well a player can help add to the offense is by how many opportunities they create for other players. Assists can either be viewed as an unselfish trait, the presence of high basketball IQ, or great floor vision. No matter the intent, players that have these traits often are more willing to create better team chemistry and win more games. This is another area where Franklin is strong.

#3 Assists Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted

An area of the game that relies on athleticism, effort, awareness, and basketball IQ is rebounding. This is where Franklin excels. Averaging 9.4 Rebounds a game, Franklin averaged the same number of rebounds are Gorgui Dieng (a Center many want the Bulls to draft). For a Pace adjusted per 40, Franklin averaged 2.5 more rebounds than the other guards,

#1 Rebounds Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted

For a player to fit into Thibodeau’s system they need to be at least a willing defender, but athletic guys who excel on defense are a perfect fit for the Bulls. This is another area that Franklin shines. He is in the tops of nearly every statistical category on defense and could be expected to immediately contribute on the defensive side.

#2 Blocks Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted

#4 Steals Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted

#1 Defensive Rating

#1 Defensive Win Shares

Stats can sometimes be deceiving, but another stat that shows how often a player can be relied on is by comparing his production with his usage rate. Players that produce at high levels with high usage ratings are typically the players that turn into legitimate NBA players. These players also typically have great PERs or Player Efficiency Ratings. Franklin had a pretty impressive 24.7.

#3 Usage

#4 Player Efficiency Rating

Franklin, like all other players outside of the lottery, has flaws in his game. He is not a great shooter. This, unlike some flaws is something that can be improved. Both Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard came into the league 2 season ago with poor shooting percentages and both guys have remarkably improved. He also is turnover prone as he is still developing an understanding for the game. The Pure Point rating highlights this flaw as it is positively correlated to turn overs.

#9 True Shooting Percentage

#8 Assist to Turnover Ratio

#14 Pure Point Rating

#1 Turnovers Per-40 Minutes Pace Adjusted

There is no reason to hide the flaws because the point is to weigh the good with the bad, While Jamaal Franklin is turnover prone and not a great shooter at this point, both of the flaws can be improved over time. Things you cannot coach are motor, effort, and a passion for winning. Jamaal Franklin’s aggression and innate passion for the game is evident on tape and the most impressive of any of the prospects that will be available for the Bulls at #20.

‘Coach Steve Fischer couldn't praise his star enough last season. Fischer called

Franklin "the soul of the program," saying that in more than 40 years of

coaching he's never had another player more committed to winning’(King,


The desire to get better and to be the best is what drives the NBA greats and that is something Jamaal Franklin has. He knows he has had poor shot selection and has admittedly said he has to improve on that. Taking a 3 & D or spot up shooting guard in this draft would be a mistake. This is the Highest the Bulls have drafted since 2009 and they drafted a 3 &D player in Butler who has started to develop into more.With the progression of Rose’s 3 point shot, last year’s addition of Hinrich and Belinelli, and Deng’s perimeter game, the Bulls can afford to draft a player who has passion, drive, and an evolving perimeter game.

*All stats retrieved from These stats are a comparison of guards ranked in the DX100.


King, J. (2013) 2013 NBA Draft rumors: Boston Celtics working out Jamaal Franklin of San Diego State.

Retrieved at


Nelson, K. (2013). Just By the Numbers: the 2013 Shooting Guard Crop. Retrieved at


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