Mar 15, 2014; Greensboro, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Rodney Hood (5) and North Carolina State Wolfpack forward T.J. Warren (24) fight for the ball in the second half. The Blue Devils defeated the Wolfpack 75-67 in the semifinals of the ACC college basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Pippen Ain't Easy NBA Draft...Small Forwards Part One!

Okay Pippen Peoples, time to get to work. Pippen Ain’t Easy is here to scout the small forwards of the NBA draft.  Are you overloaded with information yet? Are you burned out? How many NBA mock drafts have you looked at scouring over it trying to figure out who’s going to help your Chicago Bulls? Well Pippen Ain’t Easy, your best source for Bulls news, previews and reviews are here trying to relieve your anxiety trying to analyze and find out who are the best players who fit the Bulls’ scheme of things that are still available. This column is about the small forwards also called the wing players.

Let’s get this out-of-the-way. BREAKING NEWS! Andrew Wiggins WILL NOT be available for the Bulls in the first round. He will be long gone by the time the Bulls get 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. Pippen Ain’t Easy will take a look at a couple of wing players that could be available that could replace Mike Dunleavy if he is traded or just move him to the bench. I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in not wanting to see this guy in the starting lineup 82 games next year. Let’s all remind ourselves of these facts…

1) After Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker leave the green room, get a hat and shake Adam Silver’s hand, the draft can go in many directions. Usually by then there are so many surprises about which team picks whom. Cleveland picking Anthony Bennett was a shock. I was in the arena when Charlotte selected Cody Zeller at the four slot last year. Let’s just say that the booing was so bad it made the local news. They didn’t even have  a cardboard cut out of him out for the fans to see. Mock drafts are exactly what they are…mock.

2) The Chicago Bulls have to fill a lot of needs on this roster. Wait, hold up. The need to FILL this roster. With so much uncertainty with players on this Bulls team, this draft is important to build on in the future.

Let’s play scout and check out a couple of small forwards out of the ACC that MAY be available at picks 16 and 19 for the Chicago Bulls.

1) T.J. Warren-N.C. State-Sophomore

6’8′ 220lbs


Averages: 24.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists per game

I have a soft spot in my heart for T.J. Warren considering that he goes to the same college as my oldest son Damian. Any college that shells out scholarship money to the Agers family will get some loyalty believe me. But I digress. As you can see by the stats T.J. Warren woke up many mornings last year scoring 20 points. He easily led the conference in scoring and went on to win ACC Player of the Year.

Warren cracked open 40 point games and poured them on Pittsburgh (41) and Boston College (42). He just wasn’t a  scorer, he led the Wolfpack in rebounding with over seven snatches a game and steals with nearly two.

Warren is a great scorer, but not a great shooter. There’s a difference. He needs to work on his perimeter jump shot and he is going to have to adjust to the NBA style because he lacks athleticism. The one great thing about Warren is definitely willing to move without the ball which is a good thing. T.J. meet Derrick Rose, he will have the ball in his hands the majority of the time. If Warren stays active he can definitely help on the offensive board to get baskets. He is big enough with good instincts to cause matchup problems for the opposition.

Uhh let’s talk about that defense and lack of athleticism. Do you really want him chasing after LeBron James or Kevin Durant? Last I heard they are wing players with a little bit of athletic ability. Just sayin. If the Bulls select Warren, Tom Thibodeau will have to be patient on the defensive side of the ball. Yeah, and I’ll have to get an afro pick and hair grease.

My opinion: T.J. Warren at the 16th pick would be a good pick up. Tom Thibodeau will have to work with him on defense but he brings something to the table that the Bulls need. Badly. A guy that can score without dominating the ball. That’s going to be important when you are the last scoring option on the floor some nights.

2) Rodney Hood-Duke-Sophomore

6’8″ 208 lbs


Averages: 16.1 points 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists per game

Look Pippen Peoples, this analysis will be short  and sweet…NEXT! Oh you want to know why? Well I’m supposed to break these guys down but with Hood it won’t take much. Rodney Hood was making a living making jump shots while everyone else was paying attention to Jabari Parker. Yeah, the guy that was the star of the team. If Jabari Parker gets the number one slot, here’s why. He is so dominant that Rodney Hood is ACTUALLY a first round possibility. Hood was a catch and shoot specialist at Duke. This means that he fit into the Blue Devils system of shooting threes all night long and depending on that to win.

When Duke lost to Mercer in the first round, Parker was off. When he was off, Rodney Hood disappeared. get the connection?

That’s just the offensive side of the ball. What’s a six-foot eight small forward who averages less than four rebounds in college? A point guard.

My opinion: There’s always one player who drops like a brick when he comes out too early. Ladies and Gentlemen! Let me introduce you to Rodney Hood out of Duke.

These guys are two of many wing players Pippen Ain’t Easy will be looking at and bringing to your attention. Pippen Ain’t Easy will also continue to scout other position 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: Chicago Bulls Rodney Hood T.j Warren

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