This is the third time I’ve tried writing this post. It’s been difficult to focus all the different draft thoughts floating around in my skull the last few weeks. This is the Bulls Big Board according to me. These are the guys I hope the Bulls consider in the 2019 draft.
First things first, it’s not a traditional big board. I’m not running through and ranking all the prospects, just the guys I think the Bulls should be interested in. The rankings on this big board are going to be completely different from anything else out there because it’s totally based on how I feel about the players, and has nothing to do with skills or talent level, this is a purely emotion based Big Board.
Certain players (Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and Darius Garland) are not on my big board because I think they will have been drafted before the Bulls can take them with the 7th pick. Other players (RJ Barrett and Bol Bol) are not on my board because I don’t like them. Still other players aren’t on this big board because I haven’t taken the time to go over the film, or pour through the articles and analysis for them. Let’s face it, I don’t have the time or energy to watch clips of Tyler Herro and Ignas Brazdeikis no matter how cool their names sound (that’s actually a lie. I did watch some YouTube clips of both of these guys, but it was a couple months ago and I don’t remember anything about them).
This is the Chicago Bulls 2019 NBA Draft Big Board According to RokDeez, and no, Cam Reddish is not on the list.
1. Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s
– Point Guard
– Height: 6’1”, Wing Span: 6’3”, Weight: 180 lbs.
If you’ve been reading my blog the last few weeks you know I’m sold on Ponds. I like his offensive versatility, his basketball I.Q., and his effort on defense. I think he would work well in the Bulls’ multi-ballhandler system. He can score from all three levels, break down opponents off the dribble, and he makes the right pass without turning the ball over. He is a solid second round pick. I believe if he is given a fair chance, he might just exceed all expectations and become a decent starter in the NBA for many years.
2. Nicolas Claxton from Georgia (the university)
– Height: 7’, Wing Span: 7’2”, Weight: 220 lbs.
The best thing about Nic Claxton is the fact nobody is talking about him, because that means I’m going to look like a genius when he turns into the 2nd best player in this draft. He has above average dribbling skills, with passing that reminds me of Joakim Noah. He can defend against every position. EVERY POSITION. He was going toe to toe with point guards on the perimeter, beating them to the bucket and stripping them of the ball before they could pass it away, all while talking trash (his passing isn’t the only thing that reminds me of Noah).
Here it is. THE Claxton clip pic.twitter.com/UNX6pl30Uu
— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) May 16, 2019
Claxton also played a fair amount of Point Forward for Georgia, so you know he would be comfortable playing BoyBall with the Bulls. He needs to work on his shot, but even so, I can assure you that’s one area of his game he has Noah beat; His offensive skills are unicorn-esque. He is a fluid athlete. His size does not bother him at all, and he moves like he’s 6’6”, 195 lbs. Another great thing about Claxton is that he is projected to be drafted toward the end of the 1st round, this means that the Bulls could trade out of the Lottery and he would still be available as a draft pick.
3. Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech
– Height: 6’6”, Wingspan: 6’9”, Weight: 195 lbs.
Here is a player the Bulls should seriously consider taking with the 7th pick in the draft. Culver was an instrumental part of the success Texas Tech enjoyed last college basketball season. They ran the majority of their offense through Culver. He proved a competent ball handler and scorer for Tech, as well as a lock down defender, versatile enough to cover multiple positions. Jarrett Culver has the potential to be a very good, maybe even great, NBA player. His versatility and talent make him a very attractive pick 7th overall.
4. De’Andre Hunter from Virginia
– Height: 6’8”, Wingspan: 7’2”, Weight: 225 lbs.
Like Jarrett Culver, De’Andre Hunter is another player that you could justify spending the 7th overall pick on. While Hunter doesn’t have great ball handling skills, he is a tremendous defender and a solid three point threat. He is a classic “3 and D” NBA-er. His defensive versatility and strong shooting from the perimeter means he could make an instant impact for the Bulls, but there is room for him to grow on offense and no telling what type of player he could become in 5 years. There is a lot of upside to De’Andre Hunter, and I continue to waffle over him and Culver. When all is said and done, I believe both players will be solid pros.
5. Goga Bitadze from Georgia (the country)
– Height: 6’11”, Wingspan: 7’2”, Weight: 250 lbs
I don’t remember exactly when I first stumbled upon Goga Bitadze, I think it was shortly after the Fred Hoiberg firing and player mutiny. All I remember thinking when I saw his highlights was “DAAAAAYUM!!!” Goga Bitadze is, quite simply, a destroyer of dreams. He hunts the most optimistic of shots and swats them dead with his well timed paws. No one can escape the Goga, he’ll get you and your little up-and-under too. Taking Bitadze with the 7th pick would be a reach, but if the Bulls traded down a couple of spots and took him around 10th overall, they would have a bonafide rim protector capable of making grown men cry. And for all of you ‘Merica Meatheads out there that still think the Euro League is soft, Goga will break you.
6. Coby White of North Carolina
– Point Guard
– Height: 6’5”, Wingspan: 6’5”, Weight: 190 lbs.
I’ve written about Coby White in the past, so I won’t go into great detail about him here. He is considered to be the 3rd best point guard in this draft class, but could end up being the best when all is said and done. He might also sputter in the NBA, due to his lack of athleticism. I don’t have him very high on my board, not because I don’t like the guy, I do like his game, I just feel like he’s a bit of a reach at 7th even in a point guard starved draft class (I also think Vanderbilt Point Guard Darius Garland is going to be drafted much higher than he should be because of the lack of point guards). Still, if the Bulls draft White he will fill their perceived need well enough, at least until the next Point Guard of the Future comes along.
7. Tacko Fall of the Universtiy of Central Florida
– Destroyer 2.0
– Height: 7’7”, Wingspan: 8’ 2”, Weight: 290 lbs.
Tacko Fall, the most devastatingly descriptive name in basketball; a tragedy in two words. But there is nothing tragic about his rim protection. While Goga Bitadze is an emphatic and emotional blocker, Fall is very nonchalant and matter-of-fact about it. He blocks shots as a routine. Bitadze bashes, Fall flicks. Tacko is still developing significant portions of his overall game, but he is a monster at the rim and definitely someone the Bulls should think about in the second round.
8. The second round wings
Just like John Paxson, I too have more than 7 players that I like on my board! In fact there are a whole host of wing players that should be available in the 2nd round that I like. They’re all athletic, versatile, and skilled. Some are talented scorers, others rely on their defense, most are lanky and explosive, a few are built like fire hydrants (Talen Horton-Tucker), all would be good picks in the second round.
Chuma Okeke from Auburn
– Height: 6’8”, Wingspan: 7’, Weight: 235 lbs
Super talented scorer in the post and from beyond the arc. Some people project him to go in the first round.
Isaiah Roby of Nebraska
– Height: 6’8”, Wingspan: 7’1”, Weight: 210 lbs.
A plus defender with an evolving offensive game.
Darius Bazely, the New Balance Intern
– Height: 6’9”, Wingspan: 7’, Weight: 209 lbs.
Scorer from all three levels, with the ability to take his defender off the dribble. Bazely might need some work on defense, but he seems to have good instincts. He’s a big unknown because he skipped college and the G-League in favor of a lucrative career as an intern at the New Balance shoe company.
Talen Horton-Tucker from Iowa State by way of Simeon High School
– Height: 6’4”, Wingspan: 7’1”, Weight: 235 lbs.
THT reminds me a lot of Jabari Parker. Sure, there are weight and conditioning struggles, but there is also an undeniable ability to put the ball in the hoop, and unlike Jabari, Horton-Tucker seems willing to play defense. He is another skilled prospect who might be picked at the back end of the 1st round.
There are a whole bunch of other players in this draft that would help the Bulls and I wouldn’t be upset if they picked; PJ Washington of Kentucky, Brandon Clarke of Gonzaga, Sekou Doumbouya of France, and yes, even Cam Reddish of Duke and Bol Bol of Oregon, would all be solid picks for this under talented Bulls team. If you want some more names to look up, the Bulls might consider Carsen Edwards of Purdue (his numbers are very similar to Shamorie Ponds), Grant Williams of Tennessee (he has been shooting up draft boards ever since the combine), and Jaxson Hayes of Texas (considered to be one of the best centers in the draft).
Finally, my Big Board post is done. I swear this was way harder to put together than last year. There is so much seemingly homogeneous talent to sift through in this draft class. It’s hard to pick favorites. Shamorie Ponds and Nic Claxton are the two players that really stood out to me this year. I hope the Bulls find a way to add both players to the roster, and if they don’t, I will look forward to seeing how their careers take shape from afar.
Special thanks goes out to The Stepien and Tankathon.com who I used to get all the players measurements. Both sites are great resources for analysis and highlights of almost every prospect. If you’re interested in diving deeper into the NBA Draft, I strongly encourage you to check out both websites. Until next time, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!