In this year’s NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls are going to have to wait a while, as they have the 29th pick in the first round. With that said, it’s also going to be their only pick in the entire Draft, so they must choose wisely. With Derrick Rose out and potentially missing half of the season next year, fans everywhere are suggesting that the Bulls need a starting PG or SG. For this, I selected four candidates. They are: UConn’s Jeremy Lamb, Memphis’s Will Barton, Weber State’s Damian Lillard and North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes.
First Jeremy Lamb. Standing at 6’5 inches with a wingspan of 6’11”, Jeremy Lamb is considered to be a top prospect. In the 2011-12 season, Lamb averaged 18 points per game, 5 rebounds per game and 1 block.
To briefly summarize his years at UConn, Lamb led the Huskies to winning the Big East Tournament and helped the Huskies gain the number 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, all in his freshman year. However this past season, he didn’t live up to the hype. He contributed to a losing record in the Big East and the Huskies and him were eliminated by Iowa State in the first round. With all this said, it’s clear Lamb has a lot of potential (as he showed in his freshman year), but Lamb could struggle a lot and can be a disappointment (as he was this season).
I believe the Bulls may and should consider picking Lamb because Lamb is a great scorer overall, although he struggles at times. He could provide a lot of help offensively and is definitely one of the best SGs in this year’s draft, but if he wishes to call Chicago home for a while, he must have a defense first mentality or else he’ll run into problems with coach Tom Thibodeau. As well if the Bulls do wish to obtain him, they must trade up. Lamb’s only problem is that he needs to be consistent. Consistency is key! Lamb can stay on fire for a couple minutes, but he can also be washed out for a while.
Next up, former Tiger Will Barton. In the 2011-13 season, Barton averaged 18 points per game, 8 rebounds per game and 3 assists per game.
To summarize his years at Memphis, in 2011, Barton led Memphis to winning the C-USA tournament twice consecutively in 2011 and 2012 and won in C-USA player of the year. Barton brings to the table the ability to create shots and hit boards.
I think The Bulls should consider drafting Barton because management has said it over and over again that they are looking for a combo guard. The Bulls want a player that can play multiple positions and that’s exactly what Will Barton able to do. The great thing about Barton is that he’s athletic and a great scorer but as I said, he’s capable at switching up positions. However, he’s just not the best at it. He lacks that strength. The great thing is that Barton is projected drafted late in the first round or early in the second. If the Bulls are really interested in him, they won’t have to trade up to select him, however they have competition as the Memphis Grizzlies interested in him as well.
Next up is Damian Lillard. Damian is considered to be a top prospect in this year’s NBA Draft and noticeably one of the top PGs in this draft class so far. As a Wildcat at Weber State, Lillard led Webber State to the Big Sky conference regular season championship, consecutively. He went on to winning and being named the conference freshman of the Year and the first team all-conference.
Now, what makes Lillard one of the best available is that he’s a great scorer. Confident shooter is quick and changes direction to keep defenders off balance. In his 2011-12’ season at Weber State, Lillard averaged approximately 25 points per game, 5 rebounds per game and 4 assists per game. Viewing these statistics, some may say he’s should be a shooting guard rather than a point guard. Overall, he’s great offensively by himself. However, he’s not so great offensively as a teammate. It seems to be the case that Lillard is not a true point guard, in the essence that he doesn’t look to pass to teammates first and instead try’s to go to the bucket. Selfish if you will. But still, he’s learning to bring his teammates in and improve them. Entering the draft, scouts would say he’s a better scorer than passer/play maker.
I think the Bulls should consider investing in Lillard, because with Rose being out for a couple months, offensively this team is weak at the moment. We need a great shooter who can drop multiple buckets. Yes, Lillard is not the best playmaker, but I believe that coached Tom Thibodeau, can change Lillard offensive perspective into a defense first, and get Lillard more involved into becoming a better playmaker. Yes it’ll take a lot of work, but I strongly believe that if the Bulls work with him, Lillard could potentially become one of the best PGs in the league at such a young age. It’s a big gamble, but I think it’s worth it. Once again, if the Bulls want to obtain Lillard, they’ll have to trade up.
Lastly, I chose Harrison Barnes as a candidate. Now, while the other 3 are either shooting guards or point guards, I decided mix it up and choose a small forward.
Standing at a height of 6’8” inches, and at 215 pounds, Barnes brings a lot to the table. Not only does Barnes have good size and a clean jumper, but he also has a high basketball IQ and strong character. Those are just some, to name a few.
While at North Carolina, Barnes accomplished a lot while he was there. In his first year at NC, Barnes earned the ACC Rookie of the Year recognition and earned the Freshman All-American honors. In his second year at NC, Barnes averaged approximately 17 points per game, and 5 rebounds per game. Overall, Barnes has the perfect height and weight and can match up to any small forward in the league. He also, has the best at shooting from a distance.
I think the Bulls should consider him (if they haven’t already) because with Deng possibly out with his wrist injury, the Bulls are going to be in deep trouble at the start of the season. With money being a big issue for the Bulls, they can save some money if they decided to trade somebody on their roster, perhaps Luol Deng, for Barnes since Deng’s contract is around $13 million dollars a year. Once again, if they decided to pick up Barnes, Deng will probably be gone as a result. If the Bulls do decide move up, I predict they’ll try make a deal with Toronto to get their 8th pick and get Bargnani in the trade, therefore giving the opportunity for the Bulls to select Barnes.
So there you have it. While there are many more other talented players to choose from, I strongly think they will decided to draft one of the four candidates above.