Well Pippen Peoples, there’s one thing I can say about this year’s NBA draft. It is loaded with small forwards. That’s why it is very important to keep it here to Pippen Ain’t Easy, your best choice for Chicago Bulls news, previews and reviews. The NBA draft is getting closer and closer to the big day on June 26th making decisions that will impact the championship aspirations going forward. Part one took us to the ACC to check out small forwards Rodney Hood out of Duke and T.J. Warren out of N.C. State. Pippen Ain’t Easy now will check out a player on the wing that could help the Bulls, but I’m not so sure.
Let me start by giving some of you information that will be helpful in this column. Andrew Wiggins could definitely help the Bulls. However he will not be available by the time the Bulls get to their selections in the first round. The Chicago Bulls have the 16th and 19th picks in the first round. The Bulls also have the 49th pick in the second round. The one thing the Bulls can use is a younger upgrade at small forward now that Luol Deng was traded midseason of last year and Mike Dunleavy is on the backside of his career. Before we get started here, let’s be clear on a couple of things…
1) Mock drafts are not set in stone. Everyone these days seems to have a mock draft basically guessing where players are going based on the needs of the teams at the time. The only guaranteed top three selections are Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker. Those are the only three and no one knows the order that they are going to go until Adam Silver comes to the podium and announces “The Cleveland Cavaliers select with the first pick…” Mock draft are exactly what they are…mock.
2) The Chicago Bulls are in the middle of a serious retooling period right now (also read rebuilding.) These two first round picks will be very important in this process. Plus the front office will need to choose wisely considering they have a lot of work to do to build this squad for next season. There is a lot of uncertainty going into this offseason.
Let’s play NBA scout and check out Doug McDermott. He’s slated to become a small forward that MAY be available at picks 16 and 19 for the Chicago Bulls. The 737 mock drafts going around have him going from 8-25.
1) Doug McDermott-Creighton-Senior
6’8″ 218 lbs
Averages: 26.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists per game.
Doug McDermott played power forward in college, but I’ll bet you a dollar to a dime he will be a small forward in the NBA. Doug McDermott is going to be drafted for one reason and one reason only. This guy can stroke the basketball. I mean he can score with the best of them. That’s what bothers me. They said the same thing about Adam Morrison coming out of Gonzaga and he turned out to be one of the biggest NBA draft busts of all time. You really don’t need to look further than the Bulls bench to look for another similar player with all that hype coming out of college. Jimmer Fredette? One of the Chairmen of the Bench? You know the guy that came in from Sacramento at the end of last year. You know the one that never got off the bench. Guy with the jumper? Capricorn?
If you are a Chicago Bulls fan you need to be very careful when it comes to this guy Doug McDermott. Did I watch him in college? Yes. Did I like what I saw? Yes I did. Only I liked watching these guys too…
J.J. Redick out of Duke
This dude was so bad in college the most hardcore brother that hated Duke would claim him. I remember on a Sunday afternoon, the Blue Devils went to D.C. to play the Georgetown Hoyas (back when they were good.) The building was raucous and they vented hate on J.J. like you wouldn’t believe. Redick shut em down like Public Enemy scoring 40 points on an absurd 11-13 from the field. I became a Redick fan then and I am to this day. It’s one thing to walk into the Nation’s capitol and face Hoya Paranoia. It’s another to GIVE the Hoyas paranoia. That was one of the greatest shooting performances under the extreme circumstances I had ever seen in a college game. Before or since.
When he got to the NBA, something funny happened. When he was a lottery pick drafted by the Orlando Magic, he couldn’t get off the bench. Heck he couldn’t even get his shot off. He was frustrated, wanted to be traded and most of all embarrassed. Because I know everyone wanted to know how you go from a golden boy at Duke to the 12th man on the bench. Considering he was one of the most hated Duke players this side of Christian Laettner, the haters didn’t care. They got what they wanted.
This is why I’m still a fan of Redick. You see he wasn’t always the starting two guard for the Clippers. He had to work at it. He worked on his entry passes to the post. Worked on his release and made it quicker and made himself more valuable. Valuable enough that the Bulls made him an offer a few years back. Orlando just matched it.
J.J. Redick shocked me coming out of college. Jimmer Fredette did not. Oh I saw his career working out the way it did. Trust me. But it sure was fun watching a shooter with absolutely no conscience fire up fadeaway 25 footers. ESPN loved him. College fans loved him. Plus he played at BYU? He was the man.
Until he was drafted to Sacramento. Again the NBA found him out. Quick. He lost his job to Isaiah Thomas. He was the second to the last pick in the same draft. You see Pippen Peoples, there is a reason to stay up and watch who the Bulls pick with the 49th selection.
Now Chicago is trying to figure out what to do with him. He can shoot but what else? I think people fail to realize sometimes that players like Redick or Fredette were the first, second, third and final options on their teams. When they are rookies in the NBA, everything changes. Sometimes the player has to evolve his game to be successful in the league. Doug McDermott is facing that now.
Doug McDermott is going to be a sexy pick if he is available. But I don’t think he will fit. This is a defensive squad and he looks mighty slow to stick with the small forwards of the NBA. One more thing, if we all know he can shoot, teams are going to figure out a way to take him out of his rhythm. He does not have the handles at this point to get a shot off. I could be wrong. But I doubt it.
We have a long way to go before the NBA Draft Pippen Peoples. No one knows what is going to happen or what options the Bulls will go with. That’s why you have to keep it locked to Pippen Ain’t Easy, you best choice for Bulls news, previews and reviews to check out and learn about some of these players that could be available leading up to June 26th.