Mar 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Gary Harris (14) comes up with a steal against Michigan Wolverines guard Nik Stauskas (11) in the championship game for the Big Ten college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Pippen Ain't Easy NBA Draft...Shooting Guards!

Pippen Peoples, get out your pads and sharpen your pencils. Pippen Ain’t Easy, your best source for Bulls news, previews and reviews are going deep, deep, deep undercover trying to find out the best players that might be available in the NBA draft on June 26th. The column will be about shooting guards that are in the NBA Draft. After Jimmy Butler, the pickings are mighty slim on the depth chart. The Chicago Bulls  could definitely use a guard that can shoot better than 39% from the field and 28% from the three-point line.

The Chicago Bulls have the 16th and 19th picks in the first round. The Bulls also have the 49th pick in the second round. Pippen Ain’t Easy took a look at three possible choices in the NBA draft that could fill a spot on the roster at the point guard position. Now it’s time to take a look at the possible selections at shooting guard. Again, it is very important to point out that the Bulls have to take a look at a lot of different scenarios based on their position and who the teams ahead of them select first.  it is important to remember that…

A) After Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker take the first three selections of the draft, your guess where the rest go is as good as mine. Mock drafts are exactly what they are…mock.

B) The Chicago Bulls have to fill a lot of needs on this roster. Usually by the time the lottery picks are done, it’s time to look for the best player available to fit the personnel of your squad.

Let’s play scout and check out the top shooting guards in the NBA draft that MAY be available.

1) Nik Stauskas-Michigan-Freshman

6’6″ 207 lbs


Averages: 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists per game.

Nik Stauskas was the Big-Ten Player of the year last year and he was a part of the two-year winningest stretch in Michigan Wolverines history by winning 59 games. Now understand that’s more wins than the Fab Five. How about that national title team back in 1989 with Rumeal Robinson? Yep, better than both of those teams. Here’s why the Bulls can use this guy. The man can shoot the ball. Period. He shot 47% from the field which included 44% from the land of three. Couple that with shooting 82% from the line I’ll say it one more time, the man can shoot.

What I like about Stauskas is that he improved his game from his freshman year. As a freshman, he was a spot up shooter that was used basically to catch and shoot to help space the floor for Trey Burke who went on to the NBA and was drafted by the Utah Jazz. Coming into his sophomore season, Stauskas came with new toys to play with, attacking the paint showing his ability to break down the defense with his dribble.

My opinion: I can’t lie, I’m biased. I love the Wolverines. Hence I’ve watched Stauskas over his last two years. However, stats don’t lie. Nik Stauskas is one of the best pure shooters in the draft. He will struggle on the defensive end. But if you could put up with Kirk Hinrich’s defense you can put up with Stauskas, especially if he continues to shoot as well as he did in college.

2) Gary Harris- Michigan State-Sophomore

6’4″ 205 lbs


Averages: 16.7 points, 4 rebounds, 2.7 assists per game

Gary Harris is a capable scorer who can defend (This should make Tom Thibodeau happy.) He may be undersized to play the two guard position, but coming from Michigan State you know he was well coached by Tom Izzo and that he knows about winning. All players from Michigan State are hard-nosed and tough. You play against a Spartan be prepared to bring a hard hat.

There’s also another thing that you can expect from Michigan State Spartans. Sometimes they struggle to hit from the outside. Gary Harris was no different from his freshman to sophomore seasons. As a freshman he shot 45.6% from the field and 41.1% in three-point shots. As a sophomore his shooting dipped to 42.9% from the field and only 35.2% from the land of three. As an undersized guard he has to improve his shot from the perimeter.

My opinion: Gary Harris will be a good pro wherever he goes. Tom Izzo don’t allow bums into the NBA. Harris is not a bum. However, that jumper is an issue. The Bulls can rest easy knowing he is strong and can get to the rim if they do select him. Might be worth the pick.

3) P.J. Hairston-D-League/Texas Legends

6’5″ 229

Averages: 21.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists per game.

I got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that if you saw these numbers from Hairston coupled with an NBA ready body, this would be an easy selection.

The bad news is the circumstances that got him in the D-league in the first place.

The UNC Tar Heels dismissed their leading scorer based on some off the floor problems that HAD to be pretty bad considering UNC could have used his scoring on the floor last year. Let’s concentrate on his talent. He is an inside-out scorer that the Bulls can definitely need. He needs work on the defensive end but he has an NBA ready offensive game now.

My opinion: The NCAA suspended Hairston over some acquaintances he was linked to last year. His character will be put into question and will  have an impact on where he goes in the draft. I don’t think he will fit well with the veterans in the Bulls locker room. I would pass on this one.

What do these guys need to do if drafted? They are as follows…

1) They had better be ready to learn the Bulls defensive system. If they don’t, they will fall by the waste side of Marquis Teague. Fellas, that is NOT a good look. Trust me.

2) Be able to hit a jump shot.

Derrick Rose will be taking the ball to the basket with regularity. He will draw the defense and kick it out to open shooters. If drafted, these guys are going to have to hit the perimeter shot. Especially if D.J. Augustin does not return.

3) Be able to spell Jimmy Butler

What Thibodeau did to this dude was ridiculous. There should be no reason to run this guy over 40 minutes a night. If drafted, one of these guys need to give 10-15 minutes of solid play a night. Problem is, Tom Thibodeau doesn’t trust rookies. Good Luck!

Pippen Ain’t Easy is going to continue to scout players in the draft that possibly could be available leading up to June 26th. Keep it locked to Pippen Ain’t Easy, your best choice for Chicago Bulls news, previews and reviews.

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Tags: 2014 NBA Draft Chicago Bulls Gary Harris Nik Stauskas P.j Hairston

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