The Bulls will use this offseason to try and improve on a squad a lot of people have said has already peaked. The glaring hole in the Bulls lineup, as it had been all year, remains at the shooting guard position.
Keith Bogans is alright at times but he’s just not fitting, as I stated earlier in the year. Ronnie Brewer is an improvement on Bogans, but he’s not starting quality. The Bulls are defensive team, and they clearly were using Bogans for his defense, but their Achillies Heel in the postseason proved to be a lack of flair on offense.
Simply put: this needs to be addressed.
One would be very hard pressed not to see the Bulls doing this on one of two ways; either via free agency where you pick up a veteran who can come in and play right away at a skill level you already know you’re getting. Or you can use the NBA Draft to pick up a young player who can develop (with the young team Chicago already has in place) and be a solid addition to the lineup for years to come.
Now obviously the knee jerk reaction would be to explore the free agent class to pick up a player who can immediately become an impact. After all, the Bulls are really just one player away from being an elite team.
But there is just as much gamble in searching free agency as there is drafting a player. After the initial drama of whether or not your guy will fall to you, that guy has almost just as much a chance of succeeding pr failing as a free agent does.
They both have to come in and learn a new system that they are otherwise unfamiliar with. Both will have to adpat their game to what the Bulls do and both will be expected to produce.
The only difference is, depending on who the free agent is, the price tag will most likely be substantially lower and the player’s longevity may be more valuable.
With all that being said, the Bulls should honestly go out and get a shooting guard from both free agency and the draft; the plan is almost fail-safe.
The free agent is YTD, but with the incoming draft class pretty much set, the Bulls can start putting their feelers out for a diamond in the rough. The expression holds extra meaning as the Bulls will select in the lower half of the first round.
The bottom to be exact.
But the upside is Chicago owns two first round draft picks, the 28th overall and 30th overall selections. They also have the 43rd overall selection which is the 13th pick of the second round. Now the equivalent of a late 1st round pick in the NBA to the NFL is about a 6th or 7th round pick, but we’ve seen what Gar Forman is capable of doing with very little.
Chicago will address the shooting guard position with at least one of these picks. And one guy they should target is Washington State’s Klay Thompson.
Now how much of a reality this is, nobody knows. The kid is being projected to go anywhere from 18th overall to the Wizards according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, to various other writers having him fall to the late first round-early second. No matter, Chicago should keep a watchful eye on the 6’7″ guard. Thompson averaged 21.5 ppg last year with the Cougars, Bogans averaged 4.4 ppg in nearly triple as many games.
Chicago may still be licking its wounds, but the fact of the matter is, the Draft is fast approaching and it’s not like the Bulls didn’t build an Eastern Conference Finals caliber team via the draft.