Young thinks he delivered a solid workout with Bulls
Oklahoma guard Trae Young provided many of college basketball's most eye-catching moments last season.
He led the NCAA in scoring (27.4 points), assists (8.7) and turnovers (5.2). He drew comparisons to Steph Curry by draining 30-foot 3-pointers. But can he be the next big thing in the NBA?
Young worked out for the Bulls at the Advocate Center on Thursday and when it was over, told reporters he delivered some eye-popping moments while wearing the Bulls practice gear.
"My workout went really well, really well," Young said. "This is one of the best ones I've had so far, good way to end on a great note. Coach (Fred) Hoiberg ran the whole thing. I was with (Jannero) Pargo doing things, so it was good."
His long 3-pointers are reminiscent of Curry, but Young also has some Steve Nash in his game, an effective dribbler who can make plays for teammates and score going to the basket. As a college freshman, Young had a well-developed runner.
The reasons to doubt Young are his size, measured at 6-foot and a half-inch without shoes and 177 pounds at the NBA Combine, and his defense, which was at times nonexistent in college.
"I think just working on body, continuing to work on my speed, just showing from Day 1 that I am going to change the narrative," Young said of his defense. "That's my goal and my job, to change the narrative on that."
Rather than Curry, some think Young could turn out to have more in common with someone like Shabazz Napier, a college standout who didn't adjust well to NBA length.
When it comes to the Bulls and the No. 7 pick, there's already an apparent point guard of the future in place with Kris Dunn. Dunn had some injury issues last season, but was the catalyst of the Bulls' 14-7 surge at midseason. Overall, Dunn's performance was very promising.
So what about reports the Bulls are unhappy with Dunn and looking closely at Young? There may be some truth to that, but it could also be a targeted leak, designed to make teams think the Bulls are ready to take Young at No. 7 and possibly draw trade offers. After Dunn played so well last season, it's hard to believe they would sour on him based on two months of offseason workouts.
Young had this to say about his potential fit with the Bulls.
"I think I fit really well," he said. "There's a lot of really good pieces. I know a lot of the players; a few work out with my trainers, so I've got to know a lot of them -- Bobby (Portis), Denzel (Valentine). I've known Antonio (Blakeney) since high school, I know all about Lauri (Markkanen's) game. I know about these guys, I think I have a really good feel for them."
The ultimate answer is there's no slam dunk pick for the Bulls at No. 7. They might like Young or Michael Porter Jr., but there's no guarantee either player will be there at No. 7. Should they take a center when the position is being phased out by the best NBA teams? Young certainly fits the Bulls' desired style of play with more 3s and a fast pace.
The Bulls figure to consider all options in the week leading up to the June 21 draft. That includes Young and anyone who might still be on the board.