[Thanks to frequent commenter TheMoon for providing some draft coverage to BaB this year. He did so last year in a well-received FanPost and graciously volunteered to do a series for this one. I can't say I'm even on board with the entire premise of upside-drafting and doing a complete a water-treading year, but this should at the very least be a great conversation starter on some possible names. Because, honestly we shouldn't consider anybody an actual expert - yfbb]
TheShould Draft Who I Tell Them To Draft (Part 1 - wings to avoid)
Yay, it's draft time! That oh-so-magical time when all the good young players in the country get released from basketball hell and make their way into a league where I can actually stomach to watch them. As the Bulls will be making the 29th pick in this draft, I think we should take a look at a swath of players and see who the Bulls should select and who they should stay away from.
In these posts I will be making a few assumptions:
1) The next Bulls season starts in 2013. Everything before that is just a glorified Summer League.
2) It follows from the first assumption that the Bulls should feel no pressure to use their draft pick to fill certain positions for the sake of building a "complete team" next year (i.e. "And god said unto GarPaxdorf: Bring me two of every positional player, and thou shalt have a true and balanced NBA roster, and thy fanbase shall be as suckers hewing to the keel of your ark, and thy profits shall be as numerous as the sand on the seashore.").
3) Because of points 1 and 2, it would be especially reasonable for the Bulls to draft the BPA.
4) The Bulls don't want to draft a player who will take too long to develop though. Let's say: 3 or more years is too long.
Let's first look at wings we shouldn't want:
(Stats in these posts will all be from sports-reference.com, draftexpress.com or hoopsanalyst.com. All stats will be per40 pace adjusted unless otherwise stated).
1. ORLANDO JOHNSON (SG, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SANTA BARBARA, SENIOR)
There really isn't that much to say about this guy. He's 23, he plays weak competition and his production, given these conditions, just isn't good enough. I definitely do not want the Bulls to draft a guy of whom Draft Express has the following to say:
Still the same potent wing scorer who relies heavily on his ability to take and make difficult shots, Johnson has developed into a threat to score from almost anywhere on the floor thanks to his terrific range, unwavering confidence, and ability to create just enough room to get his shot off in the college game.
Not when he is 23 years old, has weak defensive numbers and plays at UC Santa Barbara. I'm thinking he's something like a very poor man's Marshon Brooks.
[SBNation bro-site Mid Major Madness has just published their profile on Johnson, who Chad Ford projects to the Bulls -yfbb]
2. JEFF TAYLOR (SG/SF, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, SENIOR)
Now, as always, Jeff Taylor's prospects rest largely on his reputation as a tremendous athlete, what people tend to call "an NBA athlete". I don't love this phrase because it's misleading. If a guy has a 50 inch vertical but doesn't rebound or get a lot of steals or blocks then he's not an NBA caliber athlete: he's a track and field caliber athlete. Taylor, at best, is like this. He simply does not do very much on the court at the NCAA level. And he's 23.
Now some people say that he has an excellent reputation as a defender. I haven't watched Vanderbilt so I cannot say one way or another. But I can look at his mediocre block, steal and rebounding numbers and his Jerryd Bayless wingspan and say: his defense is unlikely to translate particularly well. Maybe he fares so well at the college level because at 6'7'' and 223 lbs he's a big collegiate wing player? He obviously will not have this size advantage in the pros.
The counterargument here might be: Well, he was a good 3pt shooter this year. Suppose he plays average defense and knocks down 3s: even if he does nothing else, doesn't that make him an OK player? That would depend crucially on his ability to hit 3s at a very, very high rate; and this table doesn't inspire me with enough confidence in that:
It would also depend on his ability to basically be Jimmy Butler, another guy with so-so block, steal and rebounding numbers but who nevertheless seems to be a good defender. The last half of the following video shows some of Taylor's defense, and I suppose you'll make up your own mind:
3. DORON LAMB (SG, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY, SOPHOMORE)
It's easy to assume that the Lesser Lamb can just come in and fire away and everything will be fine, but there's not much precedent for a 6'4'' guy who has produced like Doron Lamb doing that. Lamb's sophomore season compares well to the sophomore seasons of the following guys:
Notice a few things. One, these guys were all on loaded, big time programs. Two, Lamb was the least productive of the four. Not by much, but still. Three, he has the worst defensive numbers of the bunch. Four, the two guys on this list who are actually good NBA players needed 4-6 years of further development after their sophomore seasons to become good. And Ellington is still bad. Doron Lamb is a project, and may be good one day, but he has a long way to go and the Bulls should not be the team to groom him.
4. JOHN JENKINS (SG, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, JUNIOR)
Jenkins was much more productive than Doron Lamb as a scorer, but the flaws are similar. Jenkins just hasn't shown he is ready to compete with NBA athletes. His rebounding, steal and block numbers are not adequate for a prospect, and his playmaking is abysmal for a guard. Here's a comparison between John Jenkins and Jodie Meeks' junior seasons:
If you want to draft Jenkins you will probably be getting something like a rookie Jodie Meeks. I would imagine most people are as averse to that as I am.
For the next post, I'll continue the emphasis on wings and look at guys I think would be good picks for the Bulls should they decide to stay at 29.