It’s the season of the slightly-too-early NBA mock draft.
But that won’t stop Bulls fans from poring over every detail of them. Besides, what else do fans have to do these days besides getting woefully depressed watching competent franchises compete in the playoffs or using the TimberBulls to vicariously relive the good moments of the last great Bulls teams?
We know the lottery odds for each team, but we don’t know the final order of the lottery, meaning you can only glean a finite amount of value from mock drafts right now.
Nonetheless, we’re going to try to glean value. Here’s who the experts predict will become a Chicago Bull this summer if the franchise stays with the No. 6 and No. 22 pick after the lottery runs its course.
NBC Sports Chicago
I was friends with Mark Schanowski’s son Eric in high school and at the beginning of college but
stupidly never asked to meet Mark. Nonetheless, he seems like an egoless, non-assuming guy from afar and I like him even better now for having Michael Porter Jr. fall to the Bulls in his mock draft:
It's @MarkSchanowski at the big board looking at his NBA Draft big board. He breaks down his top 10 in the video below. And check out his full mock draft here: https://t.co/KOdli5mnZH pic.twitter.com/niSIeGlyl8— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) April 18, 2018
He has the Bulls snatching Duke freshman Wendell Carter Jr. with the sixth pick (with Porter, Trae Young, and Mikal Bridges all still on the board) and then has the Bulls complementing that pick with another big man in Mitchell Robinson at No. 22.
No. 6 is a lot higher than many other mocks have Carter Jr. going, but as a prospect with a high floor he’s the kind of player the Bulls have a history of picking:
There are no major holes in his skill set beyond a lack of elite vertical lift that can make it tough to finish in traffic. His rebounding and inside-out game would make for a nice fit with Lauri Markkanen. He’s competitive and continues to improve. Carter is generally seen as a safe bet to become a useful player.
If Sporting News author Chris Stone is to be trusted, the man with the 7-foot-9-inch wingspan is coming to Chicago:
The 19-year-old’s skill set would fit perfectly alongside Lauri Markkanen in the frontcourt.
Bamba projects as a shot-erasing rim protector. He has a 7-9 wingspan and averaged 4.8 blocks per 40 minutes as a freshman for the Longhorns. Bamba remains a work in progress on the offensive end, but with Robin Lopez under contract for another season, he’ll have some time to work out the kinks.
The offense lags way behind the defense, but the Rudy Gobert ceiling could make Bamba the next great defensive anchor on this Chicago Bulls team. But while Bamba could be the next great defensive center, JZ Mazlish at The Stepien has some concerns on that end.
Gary Parrish at CBS Sports is going with the best 3-and-D center prospect in the draft for the Bulls No. 6 pick:
I’m personally not as high on Jackson as most others, if only because he didn’t produce at Michigan State the way so many other heralded freshmen produced on other campuses in their only years of college basketball. The 6-11 forward played just 21.8 minutes per game and often struggled with foul trouble. That’s a concern. But his physical tools are undeniable, and the potential for stardom is clearly there considering Jackson is a top-shelf athlete who shot 39.6 percent from beyond the arc.
With the 22nd pick, Parrish pushes for a reunion of the Holiday brothers, with younger brother Aaron joining Bulls holdover Justin in the black and red next season.
Andy Bailey concurs that Jaren Jackson Jr. is headed to Chi-town this summer. With the 22nd pick he has the Bulls selecting Oregon wing Troy Brown. Sounds like he wouldn’t help that space concept in the Bulls pace-and-space system:
Troy Brown shot less than 30 percent on over three three-point attempts per game as a freshman for Oregon, but he showed enough defensive versatility to keep teams interested.
ESPN via ABC News
It appears Jonathan Givony didn’t read the report from Chicago Sun-Times writer Joe Cowley that the Bulls privately aren’t high on Trae Young.
He also has the Bulls going after Mitchell Robinson, which would be a high upside, gutsy pick at a position that the Bulls need:
Robinson is one of the most talented prospects in the draft physically -- with impressive length, athleticism and shot-blocking instincts -- but is far away from contributing. The fact that he elected not to play college basketball this season won’t help his NBA readiness, but at some point in the draft, he’s worth taking a gamble on as a developmental project.