You know what was really nice this offseason? Ignoring the NBA Draft Lottery drawing. The Chicago Bulls finished the NBA Season with the 6th best record in the Eastern Conference, which means, for the first time in several seasons, they did not rely on ping-pong balls to determine their draft position. The Bulls have the right to pick 18th in the 2022 NBA Draft. Just like I ignored the Lottery, I’ve pretty much ignored NCAA Basketball this season. I’ve always winced at college basketball anyway, and the Bulls being good gave me an excellent excuse to put my “scouting” on hold this season. But all good things must come to an end, as the saying goes, so now I have to turn my attention to… The NBA Draft.
Based on their swift and unceremonious exit from the playoffs, the Bulls have some glaring needs on their squad. 1) They need size. You can survive the regular season playing small ball lineups against big teams, but when it comes to a 7 game series against Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, and Portis, you can’t get away with Derrick Jones Jr as your best option for back up center (yeah, I know Tristan Thompson played backup center in the playoffs, but I stand by my statement). 2) The Bulls need perimeter shooting. No one in the Bull’s playoff rotation seemed capable of hitting an open 3, and it allowed the Milwaukee Bucks to pack the paint on defense, keeping Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan from getting easy looks at the rim and from the elbow. It’s also the reason we saw Nikola Vucevic taking so many three’s during the series, the Bulls were trying to clear the paint of defenders. Unfortunately, the Bucks simply dared the Bulls to beat them from the perimeter, and they couldn’t. 3) The need that is least talked about but arguably most important, DURABILITY. LaVine’s knee, Lonzo Ball’s knee and bone bruise, Patrick Williams’ wrist, Alex Caruso’s style of play: 4 of the Bulls top 6 rotation players missed significant time due to non-Covid injury. The second half of the season was a nightmare slide out of top contention for the Eastern Conference due, in large part, to injuries.
With the 18th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft the Chicago Bulls select two players that are at least 6′ 8″ – 7′ 2″, with a wingspan of well over 7′, who shoot 40+% from behind the perimeter, and never get injured.
Somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen, and not just because you can’t pick two players with one draft pick. This isn’t going to happen because Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley try to pick the “best available” player when they draft. “Need” is, I’m sure, part of their equation, but they understand that you use the draft to build for the future.
So far, we’ve seen the Round Table “reach” for Patrick Williams, in 2020, with the #4 pick, and stash Marko Simonovic with their 2nd rounder. In 2021, they patiently waited for Ayo Dosunmu to drop into their laps in the 2nd round. All three players share similar qualities. Williams is an intelligent, big, athletic defender with a ton of offensive potential, if he continues to develop over the next few seasons, he could easily be the best player on the Bulls. Simonovic is an intelligent, big, athletic scorer with defensive potential, time will tell if he ever cracks the NBA. Dosunmu is an intelligent, big (for his position), athletic defender with a ton of offensive potential, etc.
Those are the obvious similarities among the 3 players that AK and Eversley have selected in the past 2 drafts. Perhaps this is just a case of small sample size, but it certainly seems like they place a lot of importance on size, intelligence, athletic ability, and potential. It will be fun to see if they continue that trend in this draft, or if they go a different route. I’d love to see them draft a player brimming with creativity, whether it’s as a passer or scorer. Also, if they could inject a little more intensity in the rotation. I guess what I’m saying is they need to clone Lonzo Ball, but eliminate the injuries.
If you’ve been reading this post and thinking to yourself “When the hell is he going to start talking about draft prospects?” I’m sorry but our princess is in another castle. This post was merely to dig into the mindset of the Front Office, and buy me some more time to do some actual prospect research. Next time on the RokDeez Bulls Blog I will find the Perfect Player for the Bulls to draft at 18th overall. Until I do, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!
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