We are inching ever so close to NBA Draft on June 20th. Having the 7th and 38th pick, the Bulls have a lot of options on the board at both of those slots.
I wrote up some words on the guys they worked out in May, below is the next group the team worked out this week.
As always, if I missed anyone, please comment below!
Vic Law, Northwestern
The Bulls worked out six prospects on Monday and again in the group was another a player from the state of Illinois. This time it was Vic Law from Northwestern. He had his best season as a Wildcat last season, averaging 15 points and 6.4 rebounds in the 30 games he played. Sadly Law struggled with injury towards the end of the year, having to miss Northwestern’s clash against Illinois in the opening rounds of the Big Ten Tournament.
While he certainly struggled to shoot the ball with a TS% of 51.5 and a three-point percentage of 33.5 last season, there are some things which do stand out. Law was a very solid defensive player for the Wildcats, posting a defensive box plus/minus of 4.3 in the 2018-19 season and for his career his DBPM was an average of 3.2. However the offensive concerns are real and it will hurt his draft stock. Law could be picked late in the second round or a candidate to be scooped up by the Bulls for their Summer League team.
Luke Maye, UNC
Many remember Luke Maye for his famed shot against Kentucky in the Elite Eight during the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Now he’s out to see if he can make it in the NBA. On a team with the likes of Coby White, Nassir Little, and Cam Johnson, Maye obviously saw a dip in production. His points per game and all other percentages dropped from his junior to senior year. Maye’s shooting from three-point land really fell off as it went from 43.1 to 28.8 percent despite an increase in attempts per 100 possessions.
He’s going to struggle defensively in the NBA as you can expect him to shoot a bit better if he gets a chance in the NBA. Wth his size he’s going to have a tough time defending bigs along with questions about him trying to defend on the perimeter against quicker players. Like Law, Maye is probably going to be selected late in the second round.
Jaylen Nowell, Washington
Jaylen Nowell was the only prospect in the group from a west coast school. Playing two year for the Washington Huskies, Nowell was a solid scoring guard for his team. Despite his points per game total only going up 0.2 percent, Nowell drastically improve his percentages shooting the ball. His three-point percentage jumped from 35.1 to 44 while his eFG and TS percentages both went up by 5.
At 6’4, Nowell has decent size for a point guard and won’t exactly struggle that much defensively against his NBA counterparts. One of the concerns you could raise about Nowell’s game is how he will do in a reduced role offensively and one where he isn’t the main focal point of the offense. He took more than 20 shots per 100 possessions at his two years in UW and you have to wonder how he will do when the green light to shoot all the time isn’t there. Nowell is going to have to adjust depending on what team takes him.
Most mock drafts have Nowell as a second round pick. If the Bulls don’t choose a point guard at number 7, taking Nowell with the 38th pick wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Lamar Peters, Mississippi State
After working out his teammate Quinndary Weatherspoon two weeks ago, the Bulls had another Mississippi State guard, Lamar Peters, in their building on Monday. He had one year of eligibility left at MSU but chose to stay in the draft. At 6’0, he’s a big small for a point guard in today’s NBA and will struggle when it comes to contesting shots, especially against bigger players. Peters had a defensive box plus/minus of -0.4 last season. Offensively Peters shoots the ball from three a lot with an attempt rate of 64.8% in 2018. He shoots about average from there with his overall percentages around the floor a bit on the lower side. Peters has shown the ability to run an offense and distribute, averaging 5.2 assists per game in his junior year.
There is a lot of questions surrounding his draft stock and where he will be taken. His stock has dropped quite a bit in the past couple of years but he does have enough upside to be taken in the second round. There is a chance he’s around when the Bulls draft in the second round.
Jordan Poole, Michigan
Like Luke Maye, Jordan Poole has had his moment in the NCAA Tournament. He scored an amazing buzzer beater against Houston in the Round of 32 for the Michigan Wolverines in 2018. Now after two years in Ann Arbor, he’s declaring for the draft. Poole improved in his sophomore season, averaging 12.8 points and 3 rebounds with a TS% of 57.3. At 6’5, he’s going to be able to keep in front of some guys in the NBA but will likely need to bulk up in order to really become a better defender. His shooting numbers from three were decent as he shot around 37% despite an uptick in attempts.
Poole’s biggest strength is his shooting, which does mean there is upside in what he can be as a player but also troubling. He has struggled to defend bigger wings and hasn’t shown a lot of other offensive skills thus far (average 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 2.0 rebounds for his Michigan career). He looks to be a second round pick in the draft.
Justin Simon, St. John’s
The Bulls continued the trend of working out teammates of previous players they brought in with Justin Simon of St. John’s. After transferring from Arizona in 2017, he spent two seasons with the Red Storm, averaging double digit points in both years. Although he saw a dip in production in terms of box score stats, Simon still was a productive player for SJU. He won the Big East Defensive Player of the Year award and the numbers totally backed it up as well with his defensive box plus/minus at 2.7. With his ability to guard multiple positions and be a stopper, Simon could certainly carve out a role for himself in the NBA.
However, he does lack a lot when it comes to shooting the ball. Simon shot 27.3% from deep in his final year at St. John’s and doesn’t stretch the floor much at all. The efficiency numbers didn’t help at all as Simon’s TS% and eFG% numbers were 50.2 and 48 respectively. He could be a late second round draft pick but also a solid choice for the Bulls Summer/G-League team.