NBA Draft rumors: Bulls trying to trade up for a shooter, according to report

Leon Halip

The Bulls reportedly have eyes on Nik Stauskas and Gary Harris.

The Bulls need shooting in the worst way, and one avenue to potentially improve the shooting on the roster is the upcoming NBA Draft. Ideally, the Bulls would use one or both of the 16th and 19th picks to help acquire Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony, but they'll have options regardless if a blockbuster move isn't made.

One of those options is trading up, and ESPN's Chad Ford says the Bulls have been looking to move up in order to draft one of the better 2-guards available:

The Bulls have been trying to move up in the draft to get an elite shooter. Their target has been Denver with an offer of the 16th and 19th pick for 11. If they get there, Gary Harris or Nik Stauskas will be the guy with them likely leaning toward Stauskas.

I watched a lot of Michigan and Michigan State hoops this past year, so I've been eyeing Stauskas and Harris as potential Bulls for quite some time. I like both of them as prospects and feel like they could slide into the 2-guard spot rather nicely down the road, which would allow Jimmy Butler to move to the 3.

I've taken quite the liking to Stauskas because of his versatile offensive game. The guy is a dead-eye shooter, knocking down 44 percent of his threes in both of his seasons at Michigan. And this past year, Stauskas proved that he could be more than just a spot-up shooter. More impressive than his ability to score in a variety of ways was his improved ball handling and playmaking. The 20-year-old showed that he could be a primary ball handler and run pick-and-roll effectively, which is obviously huge at the next level. He also did a nice job of getting to the line, shooting nearly six free throws a game.

SBNation Scouting Profiles

SBNation Scouting Profiles

There are major concerns about Stauskas' defense, but he tested pretty well athletically at the combine, so I think there's some room for improvement under the tutelage of Tom Thibodeau. And I've gone on record saying I don't care as much about defense going forward. For now, I want guys who can get buckets, and Stauskas can do that. He'd be a really nice fit not only with Derrick Rose, but with Joakim Noah. The Bulls ran a lot of two-man game with a guard and Joakim Noah this past season, and I could see Stausaks and Noah enjoying success doing the same.

As for Harris, I really liked him after his freshman year, only to see him tail off a bit this past season. After shooting 41.1 percent from three as a frosh, that number dipped to 35.2 percent in his sophomore campaign. Harris did deal with some injuries throughout the year, so that could explain some of the dip.

Harris might not have the upside of Stauskas offensively, but he's a much better defensive player. There are some concerns about Harris' size, but he's 6'4.5" with shoes and his wingspan is only an inch shorter than Stauskas' despite his height being two inches shorter. So I'm not really sure that's all that big a deal.

When it comes down to it, I'd prefer Stauskas simply because of his more advanced offensive game. He can really shoot it, and the fact that he can handle the ball and run pick-and-roll is exactly what the Bulls are looking for in a 2-guard. The defense could be an issue, but I have faith in him working hard enough to at least become a passable defense a la Kyle Korver. With this being such a deep draft, I'm not sure I'd pull the trigger on a trade like this, but I wouldn't be upset about it at all.

For what it's worth, Ford has the Bulls taking Tyler Ennis at No. 16 and Rodney Hood at No. 19. I've seen a lot of mock drafts that have the Bulls taking Ennis, which is sort of puzzling to me. Ricky's rationale was that many people just can't see Ennis falling really far, and since the Bulls have some Derrick Rose problems, they'll just take him to have a reliable backup. But the Bulls have shown the ability to find effective point-guards off the scrap heap, and I'm not sure I'd want to take one in the first round unless I'm sure he'd be a major difference maker. I can't say if Ennis is that guy.

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