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Chicago Bulls NBA Draft Grades are in, and being a B student isn’t so bad

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INSTANT analysis

2018 NBA Draft Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Bulls didn’t do anything sexy, or inspiring, or risky last night. They played it safe with their picks like they always do. But, by doing that, they added two talented players to the roster that fit with the Bulls pace-and-space system and current roster. It’s difficult to get excited about that given what could have been, but Bulls fans should be excited about the two newest Bulls.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s how the experts evaluated the Bulls draft haul.

SB Nation Ricky O’Donnell: WCJ: B+; Hutchison: B

We’ll let our guy Ricky get the first crack at things. We hope he’s recovered sufficiently after the Bulls didn’t trade up for Luka Doncic nor Jaren Jackson Jr.

Wendell Carter Jr. does almost everything well on the basketball court. He’s a strong 6’10 center who can score inside, clean the glass and has developing touch on his face-up jump shot. My guess is that he’s going to be the second best shooter of any big man taken in the lottery outside of Jaren Jackson Jr.

Carter’s biggest question mark is his lateral quickness, which is an issue in a league that often demands its bigs switch onto guards defensively. Still, his combination of length and basketball IQ should offset some of the mobility concerns.

It’s hard to get excited about a guy who received a promise from your team a month ago. I honestly think that’s why he’s getting so many solid ‘B’ grades from the experts.

Hutchison turned into a big-time scorer his last two years at Boise State. He was always a quality slasher as an agile 6’8 forward who can get to the rim. His biggest improvement as a senior came as an outside shooter. He knocked down 36 percent of his threes this season as a senior. He needs to figure out a way to use his tools to make an impact on the defensive end.

Bleacher Report Adam Fromal: WCJ: B+; Hutchison: A

Fromal gives WCJ the same grade as Ricky did. The most notable aspect of the analysis from the former is that he lauds Carter’s quickness (his ability to stay in front of NBA guards is a question mark in the eyes of many) which is encouraging.

What is most notable is Fromal’s A rating of the Hutchison pick.

Chandler Hutchison is a top-notch scoring threat and is coming off a season that saw him average an even 20.0 points per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 35.9 percent from trey-land and 72.8 percent on his freebies. Moreover, his game should translate nicely to the NBA because of the sneaky athleticism that manifests itself as cutting excellence and his dual ability to spot up and create for himself. Whether he’s functioning as a primary initiator for the Bulls or playing off Kris Dunn along the perimeter, he’s going to be comfortable putting up points and keeping the Chicago scoreboard operators busy.

And he displayed all these skills while serving as Boise State’s unquestioned leader. With Carter, Markkanen and others supporting him, Hutchison might become even more efficient while showcasing the well-rounded nature of his game.

Sports Illustrated Jeremy Woo: WCJ: A; Hutchison A-

Even though he notes it was a safe pick, Woo loves Carter Jr. to the Bulls at No. 7.

I’ve viewed him as an ideal partner for Lauri Markkanen all along — if you’re going to play big and win in the NBA, your bigs need to be skilled and capable of shooting the three. Carter is as well-rounded a player as there is in the draft, and while he’s not an explosive leaper, it won’t inhibit him from reaching his potential. The Bulls get a quality player that should become a starter early in his career and contribute directly to winning games, and has more long-term potential than some perceive.

He really likes the Hutchison pick as well. Is Woo Gar/Pax’s secret publicist?

As we have reported dating back to the combine, the Bulls were the team that shut Hutchison down early in the pre-draft process. He’s a talented scorer and versatile offensive player that should fit in well with the skilled core group of players Chicago is assembling. It’s been a strong draft for Chicago, nabbing two guys who can contribute early in their careers in Hutchison and Wendell Carter.

While few doubt that at least Carter will contribute early on in his career, will enough of these players on the current Bulls team develop into stars to make this team a championship contender in a star-driven league?

The Bulls look to be betting on themselves in free agency by selecting the safe prospects with these picks.

Sporting News Chris Stone: WCJ: A-; Hutchison: B

Hey look, another dude that really likes what the Bulls did last night.

With word that Michael Porter Jr.’s medical reports generated concern around the league, this was a difficult position for Chicago. Carter is a terrific prospect because of the versatility of his offensive game, but his defensive pairing with Lauri Markkanen will be worth keeping an eye on. The former Blue Devil’s average mobility on the perimeter could limit some of the Bulls’ options defending ball screens.

That said, this frontcourt is optimized for basketball’s future on the offensive end.

Hutchison ain’t bad either although the upside with him isn’t as high as other prospects that went around his draft position.

Rumors persisted about a first-round promise made to the Boise State wing at some point during the pre-draft process, and it appears we have found the culprit. Hutchison made strides as a shooter this season, putting himself in position to be a first-round selection.

The 6-7 wing is at his best generating offense off the catch and beating closeouts. There’s not a ton of upside here for Chicago, but Hutchison is a solid piece.

CBS Sports Reid Forgrave: WCJ: B; Hutchison: B

Noting the predictability of the picks given the type of prospects this front office likes to take, Forgrave gives the Bulls a B for both the Hutchison and Carter Jr. picks.

Carter is as solid and easy to fit into an NBA lineup as anyone still available at this point. His upside is low, compared to some home-run options, but he should be a stable NBA center for a long time. He’s very smart and fits well with Lauri Markkanen.

This is a very Bulls pick. Hutchison isn’t a high-upside player, but the Bulls like the guys who can translate quickly. He joins Wendell Carter Jr. on a team that is going with the polished products.

The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks: WCJ: B; Hutchison: B

More ‘B’s’...

The Bulls went with a steady and reliable inside presence in Carter, an extremely skilled big man who was hidden in Bagley’s shadow at Duke. Carter and Lauri Markkanen will be a handful for opposing frontcourts on offense. They can both make plays out of the post and step out and knock down 3s. The concern is that neither big man is particularly fleet of foot, which is a serious concern given the way the NBA is trending.

And Hutchison.

Hutchison to Chicago was the worst-kept secret in the draft. The Boise State senior shut down his workouts early, and everyone assumed that Chicago was the team that promised him. The draft models don’t like Hutchison because he’s a late bloomer in a mid-major conference, but he has the tools to be an impact player at the wing positions. Denzel Valentine and Justin Holiday certainly aren’t blocking him on the depth chart.

USA Today Sports writer Michael Singer: WCJ: A-; Hutchison: B-

Over at USA Today Sports, Singer notes that Carter Jr. figures to be a productive pro for many years to come and this is good enough for an A- rating.

Singer is less of a fan of Hutchison, although he praises him in his little blurb despite giving the pick a B-.

The Bulls had been linked to Hutchison throughout the entire draft process with a rumored promise to take him at this spot. He’s a long, rim-running wing, who’s exceptional in transition and fits with the Bulls’ plan to run.