After weeks of speculation, hype, and analysis, it’s finally here. It’s draft night. Given how crazy the week leading up to it has been in terms of trades, rumors, and galore, tonight could turn wacky. In these few hours before it begins, this represents the final times that many writers and draft experts will craft up a mock draft. We did a roundup much earlier in the draft season and you can view it here.
So without further ado, here is the roundup of who the draft experts believe the Chicago Bulls will take in the 2017 NBA Draft.
|Mock Drafter||Bulls selection|
|Mock Drafter||Bulls selection|
|Chad Ford - ESPN||John Collins|
|Ricky O'Donell - SB Nation||Justin Jackson|
|Sean Highkin - The Athletic||Justin Jackson|
|Gary Parrish - CBS Sports||Justin Jackson|
|Johnathan Givony - DraftExpress/The Vertical||Jarrett Allen|
|Andrew Sharp - SI||Luke Kennard|
|Scott Howard-Cooper - NBA.com||Luke Kennard|
|Sean Deveny - Sporting News||Justin Jackson|
Last time it was a split between three guys, now it’s down to two of them.
By the way the experts put it, it’s down to two guys who played against each other in college basketball’s best rivalries. Duke vs. UNC. Luke Kennard vs. Justin Jackson.
Kennard has been heavily linked to the Bulls from the beginning. He was Duke’s best player last season and showed immense talent offensively. Averaging 19.5 points per game along with a good shooting percentage from three, Kennard can provide a spark for any team that drafts him. He’s good off the ball as well and is a pure scorer in that sense. The only problem with he will be a liability on defense. You will likely have to hide Kennard on defense when he’s on the court. His athleticism is not the greatest either so what you are getting with Kennard at this point is what it is in terms of explosiveness off the ball or a first step. His three-point shooting and scoring makes him an interesting selection at 16, but the lack of defense and athleticism raises significant question marks about his fit on the Bulls.
The next player was someone who played just down Tobacco road from Kennard at Duke. It’s Justin Jackson at North Carolina. Jackson made a huge leap in his junior year for the National Champions, especially in his three-point shooting. He jumped up 8 percentage points last year, shooting a respectable 37% from deep. He has good size and length for a forward and the threat of another three-point shooter spreading the floor is intriguing. But like Kennard, he is defense will be an issue. Although he has the length, he’s just not quick enough on defense. It’s not as bad as what we saw with Denzel Valentine but Jackson is likely not to develop into a top wing defender. Averaging 18.3 points per game for UNC, Jackson won ACC Player of the Year and looks like the typical Bulls pick. A guy from a major winning program and someone who looks like he can contribute right off the gate.
Things were a lot more up in the air a few weeks ago but as is the case with draft season, stocks of prospects move quickly. It would be ideal for a guy like Donovan Mitchell to drop to Chicago but it looks like a miracle will have to take place for that to happen. It looks it may be Justin Jackson in a Bulls uniform next season.