Almost regardless of what they do in the off-season, the Bulls are going to have to fill out several roster spots on the cheap. Fortunately I think the Bulls can pick up a pretty decent player who can play right away and play for however much undrafted players make (half a mil?). That player is Northwestern senior forward John Shurna.
1. JOHN SHURNA (SF/PF, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, SENIOR)
Consider a comparison between Shurna and Chandler Parsons. Both were playmaking combo forwards in major conferences. Both are 6'10'' with small wingspans. Both were stretch 4s. And both played 4 years of college. Parsons went 38th in the 2011 draft; Shurna might go undrafted. In light of the following table, does this make sense?:
And their athletic combine numbers are similar too. The only thing about Shurna that makes you say "Dear god, no" is his rebounding, which was veryveryveryveryvery horrible. But this might only mean that 1) Shurna will never be anything more than a bench or even situational player (we probably already knew that) and 2) he will play almost exclusively SF in the NBA. Honestly, he seems like a pretty decent prospect-- he can shoot the hell out of the ball, he passes well, hes pretty big if he can play SF and his blks+stls are ok. I think he's worth a look.
2. MARCUS DENMON (SG, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, SENIOR)
It also appears as though Missouri senior SG Marcus Denmon might become an undrafted candidate. This surprised me because he had been slated to go in the mid second round for a while. So what changed? As near as I can tell, he shot really poorly at the New Jersey Combine. I think that's it. Strange, I thought 120 games over 4 years would provide a better picture of a player's ability, but I guess I was wrong-- one combine is clearly more important.
Denmon is the same guy he was a month ago and he's just as good as similarly aged, sized and skilled guys who were picked in previous drafts:
I also put a couple guys at the bottom who seem similar to Denmon and who are projected to go in the mid second round.
I really think the Denmon looks like a physically stronger, good citizen version of Luther Head. Head was an ok prospect coming out of college, but I like Denmon even more for a reason the following table will show:
|Marcus Denmon||Luther Head|
This is a breakdown of the two players' college PER by year. Head is an example of a kind of prospect I am suspicious of: the guy who shows little promise until his senior year. I think this makes Denmon more credible as a prospect than Head. And that's pretty good value for an undrafted player. Head was a 1st round pick who has played 9000 NBA minutes. And he probably could play more, but he kind of has a Rashad McCants personality. Denmon won't have the same flaw.
And I also think Denmon compares well to Daniel "Boobie" Gibson. Here's a comparison of their sophomore numbers:
3. REGGIE HAMILTON (PG/SG, OAKLAND UNIVERSITY, SENIOR)
I think the Bulls might want to check out Oakland University senior PG Reggie Hamilton as well. Derrick will probably be out till February/March and the Bulls will be looking for someone cheap to back up CJ. Perhaps someone like Hamilton could work in kind of a Lucas-ian (yes, John Lucas is now an adjective), scoring PG role. Most of you probably haven't heard of Hamilton and as of about a month ago I hadn't either; but he's been a hell of a scorer in the mid-majors for two years now.
Hamilton stands about 6'1'' in shoes with a solid frame. He's quick but not a leaper. Over his career his scoring has primarily come from his outstanding shooting ability: he takes tons of 3s (over 8 per40PA each of the last two years) and converts them at a high rate (37 and 42 percent the last two years). He was very productive his junior year (25 PER) and flat out dominant his senior year (31 PER). Just looking at the numbers, he reminds me a little of Jimmer:
And Hamilton was a player whose production did not dip when playing outside of the Summit League:
|Reggie Hamilton (Conference)||29.2||4.4||1.43||46||47.7||2.1||0.1|
|Reggie Hamilton (Non-Conf.)||31.2||4.3||1.32||48.3||36||2.5||0.1|
I am not saying this guy is great or will even make it as an NBA player, but he fills a position of need for little money and I think the Bulls should give him a look. Oh, and he's also from Chicago-- maybe he'll work for free!
Other Projected Undrafted Players the Bulls Should Consider:
- Robbie Hummel (SF, Purdue University, Senior) http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Robbie-Hummel-5143/stats/
- Jordan Taylor (PG, University of Wisconsin, Senior) http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Jordan-Taylor-6358/stats/
- Herb Pope (PF/C, Seton Hall University, Senior) http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Herb-Pope-1244/stats/
- Jason Clark (SG, Georgetown University, Senior) http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Jason-Clark-19844/stats/ (Of all these undrafted guys Clark is the one I could see becoming a really good player-- in the role of a scoring 6th man, or maybe a defensive antagonist. Looking at his rebs, blks, stls and 2pt% you can see he's probably an NBA athlete. And even though he's only 6'2'', he has a 6'8'' wingspan. He's 22, and I don't like that this guy didn't score more, and I don't like his AST/TO ratio so he's almost certainly a complete bust. But I think Clark might have the highest ceiling of all these players. Maybe such a long shot is exactly the kind of player you want to sign undrafted since the reward is high and the cost virtually nil.)