With the Draft Lottery over and done with, it’s time to really start speculating on who just might end up where when it comes to this year’s NBA Draft. Here at Pippen Ain’t Easy, I have decided to bring you the players that I think will be good a fit for this Bulls team. The Bulls have the 16th (via Charlotte) and 19th picks in the first round of the draft. Let’s take a look at the draft possibilities shall we?
T.J Warren SF
Many mock drafts have T.J Warren landing in Chicago, the main reason many experts believe he is a target for the Bulls is his ability to score. It’s no secret that Chicago has struggled offensively these past few seasons, especially without Derrick Rose, and Warren is a player that could be very beneficial to the Bulls.
Warren stands at 6’8 and weighs in at 218 pounds, which is down from about 235-240 a year ago, the weight loss has played a significant part in his transformation as an elite scorer at the college level.
His strength is his ability to create his own shot. He was the number two scorer in college basketball last season with 28 points per 40 minutes on an impressive true shooting percentage of 59%.
He exhibits a wide array of mid-range shots such as floaters and runners but it’s his ability to get out and run the fast break and finish in transition that is most impressive.
Warren has a few aspects of his game that will need work if he wants to be successful at the next level. His three point shot could do with more work; he shot 29.5% from downtown last year, his passing game also needs a great deal of work, whether or not he lacks the court vision or was reluctant to pass to teammates who were less likely to score is yet to be seen, but his assist rate of 1.1 per game last season was disappointing.
P.J Hairston SG
P.J Hairston has a sweet stroke! It’s obvious that the Bulls will target players who can score and Hairston can certainly do that. He measures in at 6’5 and weighs 230 pounds. He has an NBA ready body and should contribute straight away to any team that does in fact draft him.
After being dismissed by the North Carolina Tar Heels this year, Hairston played out the rest of the season in the NBA D League. He averaged an impressive 21.8 points per game in his 26 games played in the D League.
His shooting mechanics are a joy to watch and it’s easy to see why he has such a great ability to put the ball through the net. As well as having a sweet jumper, Hairston is also adept when it comes to attacking the rim. He has a decent first step and is exceptionally strong. He can run the break well and figures to benefit from the pace of the NBA.
Where Hairston struggles however is with his passing game and ball handling. He averaged just 0.8 assists per game in the D League last season.
There is a slight question about his attitude as his dismissal from North Carolina shows and it would be wise for any prospective team to do their research before committing to picking him come draft day.
Tyler Ennis PG
A point guard? Surely not. I had the same doubts when flicking through the many mock drafts littering the net right now but after a little research I can see why the Bulls could pick the point guard from Syracuse come draft day.
Ennis is a pure point guard, a floor general and the owner of an extremely high basketball I.Q. He also is a team guy, which would no doubt be a strong fit for a Bulls team whose culture is all about team first.
With Rose no certainty to return to MVP form, Augustin a free agent and Hinrich off contract it would be a very good move for the Bulls to look to sure up a good back up for Derrick and Ennis could be just that.
He measures 6’2 and weighs 182 pounds but does have an exceptional 6’7 wingspan. His real strengths lie in his maturity, unselfishness and his passing ability. He displays excellent ball handling skills, runs the pick and roll very well and moves the ball well in transition.
He lacks athleticism, which could harm him when faced with some of the NBA’s elite point guards, and he lacks the speed and first step to become a real scoring threat, but he is undoubtedly a floor general.
Rodney Hood SG-SF
The Chicago Bulls have been screaming out for an athletic, scoring wing for a few seasons now and despite the fact that I think he will go a pick or two before the Bulls 16th pick in the draft, Rodney Hood is just that.
Standing 6’8 and weighing in at 210, Hood has a lanky, athletic build that seems to be the norm for wings these days in the NBA. He has great shot mechanics and good range and his ability to space the floor will be a commodity for any team that does in fact draft him. He shot an impressive 42% from long range last season for Duke.
Hood rarely turns the ball over and his feel for the game is impressive. He does however need to work on his defense and could stand to add some weight to his slight frame. He also needs to get to the rim more instead of settling for the jump shot, as NBA defenses will be sure to know of his high percentage from range.
Adreian Payne PF
The Bulls haven’t been afraid to take older players in the draft in recent years. The Taj Gibson draft is a perfect example of them choosing a more mature player to good effect and Adreian Payne could very well be another that falls in this category.
Payne has come a long way in his time at Michigan State. By plying his trade in the college system he has become an impressive and efficient scorer, athletic enough to score off the dribble, strong enough to bang down low and with a range to trouble opposing teams.
He stands at 6’9 and weighs in at 240 pounds with a 7’4 wingspan. He projects as a good stretch four; he shot 42.3% from beyond the arc last season for the Spartans and in today’s NBA, floor spacing is critical. Having a bigger man who can shoot the three will also give Derrick Rose more of a lane to look to score.
A good rebounder with an impressive array of offensive capabilities would be a real benefit to the Bulls team but his age and his reported lung capacity issues are a worry, but his work ethic has more than been proven over his four years in college.