Chicago Bulls have options in draft, but no room for error
The Chicago Bulls will have plenty of options for Thursday's NBA draft.
As always, the goal is to come away with at least one quality player, however they get there.
Team Player Ht Pos College/Country
1. New Orleans Zion Williamson 6-7 PF Duke
2. Memphis Ja Morant 6-3 PG Murray State
3. New York R.J. Barrett 6-7 SG Duke
4. New Orleans (from LAL) Darius Garland 6-3 PG Vanderbilt
5. Cleveland Jarrett Culver 6-7 SF Texas Tech
6. Phoenix DeAndre Hunter 6-7 SF Virginia
7. Bulls Sekou Doumbouya 6-9 PF Guinea
8. Atlanta Cam Reddish 6-8 SF Duke
9. Washington Coby White 6-5 PG North Carolina
10. Atlanta (from Dal) Jaxson Hayes 6-11 C Texas
11. Minnesota Brandon Clarke 6-8 PF Gonzaga
12. Charlotte Nassir Little 6-6 SF North Carolina
13. Miami Rui Hachimura 6-8 PF Gonzaga
14. Boston (from Sac) Goga Bitadze 6-11 C Rep. Of Georgia
15. Detroit Keldon Johnson 6-6 SG Kentucky
16. Orlando Romeo Langford 6-6 SF Indiana
17. Atlanta (from Bkn) Bol Bol 7-2 PF Oregon
18. Indiana P.J. Washington 6-8 PF Kentucky
19. San Antonio Nickeil Alexander-Walker 6-5 SG Virginia Tech
20. Boston (from LAC) Ty Jerome 6-5 PG Virginia
21. Oklahoma City Tyler Herro 6-6 SG Kentucky
22. Boston Luka Samanic 6-11 PF Croatia
23. Memphis (from Utah) Bruno Fernando 6-10 C Maryland
24. Philadelphia Mfiondu Kabengele 6-10 PF Florida State
25. Portland Matisse Thybulle 6-5 SG Washington
26. Cleveland (from Hou) Cameron Johnson 6-8 SF North Carolina
27. Brooklyn (from Den) Darius Bazley 6-9 PF Finneytown (OH) H.S.
28. Golden State Kevin Porter Jr. 6-5 SG USC
29. San Antonio (from Tor) Dylan Windler 6-7 SF Belmont
30. Milwaukee Grant Williams 6-8 PF Tennessee
The Bulls could stand pat with the No. 7 pick, but they should also have opportunities to trade up, trade down and trade the pick for a veteran player.
The most likely scenario is sticking with No. 7 and ending up with a choice between North Carolina point guard Coby White, Duke forward Cam Reddish and forward Sekou Doumbouya, a Guinea native who played professionally in France last season.
The 6-foot-5 White could be a good fit, because he likes to push the pace, shoots a lot of 3-pointers and has the size to be a solid defender. He averaged 16.1 points, 4.1 assists and shot 35.3 percent from 3-point range as a freshman.
At the same time, any point guard would be an awkward fit.
A rookie running the show is more likely to slow down the Bulls' rebuild, not push it forward. And if the Bulls do add a veteran point guard in free agency, then they'd essentially be swapping White for Kris Dunn, whose trade value is probably minuscule right now.
Doumbouya would be an easier add to the roster. An athletic 18-year-old with raw skills, he could bring energy to the second unit, in theory, and the Bulls could be patient in helping him develop. The 6-9 Doumbouya also is something the Bulls don't have right now, a hyper-athletic front-line player.
Doumbouya visited the Advocate Center for a workout last week, so the Bulls should have a good feel for his talent and personality. His outside shot is improving quickly, and it's easy to look at Doumbouya and see similarities to Toronto's Pascal Siakam.
Reddish could be an option if the Bulls are looking for another outside shooter. As the third wheel next to Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett at Duke, Reddish probably didn't get a chance to show off his full range of skills in college. But he does have a nice-looking jumper.
Texas center Jaxson Hayes is another guy the Bulls may consider, but as a slim 7-footer without many offensive skills beyond catching lob dunks, he figures to be a longer-range prospect.
There has been talk that the Bulls could move up to No. 4, swapping spots with New Orleans. The Pelicans are said to be looking for a first-rounder next year, which is probably a higher price than the Bulls want to pay.
Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland, who played just five college games before suffering a knee injury, has been getting most of the recent draft buzz. There might be several teams interested in jumping up to No. 4 for Garland. If he's that good, the Bulls probably will give it serious thought.
Moving down doesn't make sense, since this is viewed as a relatively weak draft and the last thing the Bulls need is an extra rookie on next year's roster.
One wild card in Thursday's decision would be if Garland goes fourth, as expected, then Phoenix, in need of a point guard, snags White at No. 6. In that case, either Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver or Virginia's DeAndre Hunter would be on the board at No. 7.
Would the Bulls opt for Culver or Hunter in that scenario? The guess here is yes. Hunter is viewed as perhaps the best wing defender in this draft and averaged 15.2 points last season. Culver is a similar player, maybe better offensively and not as strong on defense compared to Hunter.
Trading for a veteran is another tricky option. The Bulls should be careful about going all-in on another big salary, since they have limited cap space as it is. But they need veterans to push the rebuilding project along, so maybe the right opportunity will present itself.
If history is the guide, teams don't necessarily need high draft picks to win big in the NBA. But they better not mess it up when they do draft high.
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