Athletic wings should be plentiful when Bulls pick at No. 18

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Tari Eason started his college career at Cincinnati, then transferred to LSU after one year and was on no one's NBA draft radar before the season began. But he took a huge jump in production, averaging 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds.

    Tari Eason started his college career at Cincinnati, then transferred to LSU after one year and was on no one's NBA draft radar before the season began. But he took a huge jump in production, averaging 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. AP File Photo

 
 
Updated 6/20/2022 9:04 PM

Recent draft history has shown the Bulls will have the chance to select a quality player with the No. 18 overall pick on Thursday.

Here's a list of players chosen at No. 18 or lower just in the past five years:

 

Saddiq Bey, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, Grant Williams, Robert Williams, Jordan Poole, Kevin Huerter, John Collins, Jarrett Allen, OG Anunoby, Derrick White and Kyle Kuzma.

We already discussed a few centers the Bulls could target. Some of other needs would be shooters, athletes, strong defenders and role players with some height. Here's a list of potential targets:

Tari Eason, 6-8, F, LSU

If the Bulls want to get someone in the mold of New Orleans' Herbert Jones, one of last year's surprising rookies, Eason could be the guy.

A Seattle native, Eason started his college career at Cincinnati, then transferred to LSU after one year and was on no one's NBA draft radar before the season began. But he took a huge jump in production, averaging 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds.

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So Eason made a huge improvement in his sophomore year while stepping up in competition. He projects well defensively with a 7-2 wingspan. His 3-point shot needs some work, but he went from 24.1% to 35.9% in two years of college.

Jalen Williams, 6-6, SG, Santa Clara

If the Bulls seek a scorer, someone maybe in the mold of Miami's Tyler Herro, Williams might have the best shot of players in this range.

Williams was a late-bloomer who had a growth spurt, so he spent much of his life playing point guard and has good passing skills. As a scorer and shooter, he probably hasn't reached his potential. He shot 39.6% from 3-point range, averaging 18 points as a junior at Santa Clara. He also did well in the agility tests with a 39-inch max vertical.

Kendall Brown, 6-7, F, Baylor

Brown might have been the best athlete who showed up at the NBA draft combine last month, posting a 41-inch max vertical. But most of the projected lottery picks weren't tested.

Brown could give the Bulls a boost in athleticism, but his skills are pretty raw. While his 3-point form looks decent, he averaged just 1.2 attempts during his freshman season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Jake Laravia, 6-8, F, Wake Forest

This is sort of a Deni Avdija meets Brian Scalabrine type of player, but he's been moving up in mock drafts after doing well in some of the agility tests. Laravia is an Indianapolis native who spent two years at Indiana State before averaging 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds at Wake Forest. He's not an explosive athlete, but shot 38.4% from 3-point range, so he appears to be someone who could help space the floor.

David Roddy, 6-6, F, Colorado State

He measured 6-6 in shoes and played power forward in college. But shooters are invaluable and Roddy averaged 19.2 points and shot 43.8% from 3-point range as a junior. He seems to be the type of player who might surprise people in the NBA.

Nikola Jovic, 6-10, F, Serbia

His name is one letter different from the two-time MVP, but Jovic more closely resembles Toni Kukoc as a player. He handled the ball often and shot 40% from 3-point range in the Adriatic League. He's not the most fluid athlete in the draft, but some made the same complaints about Luka Doncic.

Dalen Terry, 6-7, F, Arizona

He averaged 8 points and shot 36.4% from 3-point range as a sophomore, but some team might like his upside as an athletic wing. He'll likely need some time in the G-League and weight room.

TyTy Washington, 6-3, G, Kentucky

The Bulls don't figure to put a priority on a point guard-sized player, but Washington might remind some team of Maxey, another Kentucky product.

MarJon Beauchamp, 6-6, SF, G-League Ignite

His G-League coach thinks he could be another Mikal Bridges, but Beauchamp will need some time to grow. He shot 30.3% from 3-point range last season, to go with 15.1 points.

Jaden Hardy, 6-4, SG, G-League Ignite

He was once ranked top-five in his high school class. His stock has dropped since then, but he was the leading scorer on last year's Ignite squad at 21.2 ppg.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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