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How I will talk myself into liking whatever Pax does.

I fully admit that I'm not much of a scout. So while I certainly read a lot of scouting reports on the players reportedly on the Bulls radar, it's hard to figure out which players are actually right for the Bulls. They're all 'right' if Pax tells me so. He's seen them work out, after all. Oh, and he's better at this than I am.

If Joakim Noah is the selection, I'll assume Pax didn't think Hawes or Yi were near ready, and size trumped the idea of taking best player available. If it's Green or Wright, I'll figure Pax doesn't think any of the big men are any good, so he decided to take the best player regardless of if they duplicate what Luol Deng does. If he takes Yi (or Brandan Wright), maybe the idea is the Bulls don't plan on picking this high for a while so take the shot at the highest upside. If he takes Spencer Hawes I'll think Pax saw Hawes school Noah in their workout and determined not only are the skills there but the body and athleticism too. If he takes Mike Conley I'll certainly be confused, but otherwise ecstatic over a possible major deal in the future. If he trades out I'll assume everybody available was unimpressive.

I don't have a strong feeling about any of these guys (trading up for Hortford notwithstanding), so whoever Pax likes I'll like. It may not fit into the "I have a sports blog and an opinion, damnit!" mantra of the web, but such is the case when not only has the GM made some shrewd picks, but tough-to-predict ones as well. Pax has a rep for making 'safe' picks from the pool of college 'winners', but I don't see much of a pattern; I've actually been quite surprised with the way he's picked over the years.  He's taken Hinrich when his roster already had a point guard, taken Ben Gordon #3 which just weeks before the draft it seemed way too high. Taken the raw Tyrus Thomas when there were more polished offensive players available. Taken Thabo Sefolosha who was out of the 'whoever was in the Final Four that year' mold of previous drafts.

There's no cut and dry mold for the players in this draft. Because some guys are labeled 'ready' and others 'projects', it's a gray area to determine how much of an impact a ready player can bring, or how much time a project needs. Tyrus Thomas was thought of as a project but he was certainly an impact player by the time the season was through. That same philosophy could be in play again, but however Pax goes I'll probably be nodding in agreement regardless.

Bonus links:

  • SBNation mock draft is entering the second round over at Bullets Forever.
  • I participated in yet another mock draft over at This was more of a 'who will they take' type of thing, and I predicted the Bulls go with Noah.
  • Yet another blog-driven mock draft. Although I sat this one out.
  • Mock draft (and other subjects) podcast I participated in Sunday morning, along with a couple other bloggers. I thought the voice quality was good this time, although the usual trappings of cell phone still produced some static. As far as the content I provided, I'll let you be the judge.