For the past few seasons, one of the Chicago Bulls’ necessities has been a scorer, a shooting guard. Rasual Butler wasn’t the answer during the 2010-11 season, and Richard Hamilton seems to have been on the sidelines more than on the hardwood. The need for a scorer is still there, and it’s likely to be taken care of during the 2013 NBA Draft.
One possible pick is the University of California, Berkley’s Allen Crabbe. The 6′ 6″, 197 lb. shooting guard spent three seasons playing for the Golden Bears before declaring for the NBA Draft. In his last season at California, the PAC-12 Player of the Year averaged 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 steals in 36.2 minutes of play.
He is most efficient on the offensive end, where he has become known as a shooter. Crabbe shot 45.9% from the field and an outstanding 53.2% on two-point field goals. His three-point shot was not as lethal, as he averaged 34.8% from downtown, but despite that, Crabbe has a tremendous ability to shoot the rock. There is no doubt this would be a great benefit to the Bulls.
During his tenure at California, Crabbe has been best featured in catch-and-shoot situations and coming off screens. He works best when the play is made for him rather than creating it for himself. In the situations where Crabbe has had to try to create his own shot or make a play for himself, he has shown his struggles. If he were to be drafted to the Bulls, he could be used similarly to how Kyle Korver was used.
What sets Crabbe apart from Korver though is his ability to penetrate the paint. Crabbe does not always do the best job finishing in the paint, partially because of his size and strength, but he has shown that he can do so. But again, he does best when the plays are made for him. So assuming a play is made for him, Crabbe could make a drive for the basket, though it is more likely he would settle for the jump shot.
Aside from his excellent shooting, another asset of his is his rebounding. Crabbe posted an average of 6.1 rebounds for his junior season, a great feat for a shooting guard. For a Bulls team that values the importance of rebounding, it would be great to have a backcourt player that can crash the board.
In other defensive aspects, Crabbe does not offer much. At California, he was not known to be a defensive player and did not offer as much effort as he should have. For a team coached by Tom Thibodeau, that is definitely a red flag, but that does not mean Thibodeau cannot get him to improve.
Crabbe can offer something on the defensive end besides his rebounding though. He has an impressive wingspan for a two-guard of 6′ 11.25″, meaning his length has the potential to alter, block, and bother his opponent and his shot. Given the defensive discipline, Crabbe could be a force to be reckoned with defensively.
Assuming the Bulls were to take Crabbe with the 20th pick, their scoring woes could be solved, but only if he invests in Thibodeau’s defensive principles. If he cannot commit to them and learn them quickly, Crabbe’s shooting ability worth be worth much, as he will have to become familiar with the bench.