The NBA draft is upon us... in a couple weeks. After the undeserved hype of the lottery selection Cleveland gets another chance to blow the top pick. Way to go Cleveland. Seriously… what a joke. The Bulls have two 1st round picks in the draft at 16 and at 19. The Bulls have some potential moves they could make. They could package these picks along with Carlos Boozer and make a trade for Kevin Love. The salaries match up if you don’t believe it go to ESPNs NBA trade machine. Option two would be to package up these two first-round picks and attempt to get into the top 9 of the draft where the Bulls could find a potential superstar in the making. It would be difficult to pull of either of these trades without throwing in a combination of players and future picks. In short the Bulls will stick it out and keep the 2 picks and hope to build on the future, which isn’t totally a bad idea. The Kevin Love trade is nice to think about but we need more pieces, and in all reality Carmelo Anthony gives us a better chance to win.
The Bulls biggest weakness is scoring and they need guys that can shoot. I tried to be as realistic as possible with these potential picks and the 2 players I have in mind should be available to Chicago on draft night. The 1st prospect I believe the Bulls can snag is combo guard Gary Harris from Michigan State. He averaged 16.7 points this year with a FG% of 42.9 and a 3 point% of 35.2%. Harris did not compete in the NBA combine due to an injury, but did measure up with a disappointing 6’2’’ ½ flat footed. With shoes on he has measured at 6’4’’ and has a wingspan of 6’6 ¾". With Harris not participating at the combine and his disappointing flat footed measurement Harris has fallen off a lot of different draft boards. Despite the previous mentioned flaws with Harris I like him because he gives us another option to bring the ball up the court if Rose isn’t on the floor and or double teamed. Harris has a skill set similar to O.J. Mayo and C.J. McCollum, at least that’s what some of the scouting reports have said. (nbadraft.net & nbadraftexpress.com) He does have speed and quickness and is a decent shooter. Harris will need to improve on his 3 point shooting at the NBA level and he is talented enough to compete with Jimmy Butler for the SG spot. At the very least he can be a key member off the bench right away.
For the 2nd pick in the 1st round I would like them to go after Kyle Anderson out of UCLA. He is another combo type player PG/SF. Anderson stands at 6’9" 230 lbs. with a 7’2’’ wingspan. Anderson may be more of a project type player but I think with Coach Thibs he can really bring out the best in this guy. He has been compared to a Jalen Rose/Lamar Odem type player being able to run the offense when need be and get open and hit key shots. At UCLA Anderson averaged 14.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG and shot 48% from the floor. Anderson will intrigue a lot of teams because he has such an appealing combination of size and skills. Another thing "Mr. Anderson" brings to the court is his 3 point shooting ability making 28/58 from beyond the arc. The down side to Kyle Anderson has been his natural athletic ability, he’s not a great athlete and I’m ok with that, he seems like a good basketball player and that’s what is important. I’ll take a good basketball player over a good athlete any day of the week. Anyone remember Tyrus Thomas? Another example which happens to be more recent is Marquis Teague, good athlete, fast, quick, strength for his size, but not a very good basketball player. I want players that understand the game and can soak in concepts from the coaching staff. I believe that Harris and Anderson can thrive under the tutelage of coach Thibodeau.
In time to compete at a serious level the Bulls will need multiple options as to who brings the ball up the court. In my mind it creates mismatches and different looks for defenses. I will use the late 90s Bulls team as an example. Jordan, Harper, Pippen, Kerr and Kukoc all brought the ball up the court at one time or another all to create some sort of confusion and or mismatches for the defense. The most obvious example right now is the Miami Heat. James, Wade, Chalmers etc. all different individuals bringing the ball up the court. Bottom line we need more "basketball players" rather than great athletes to be a truly diverse and competitive team to make it deep into the playoffs.
Information on prospects can be found at ESPN.com (player search), nbadraft.net, & nbadraftexpress.com