Well Pippen Peoples, we are getting closer and closer to the NBA draft that’s going down in New York on June 26th. Pippen Ain’t Easy will be taking a look at point guards, a definite need on the Bulls roster. This draft is starting to be one of the most polarizing since 2003 when that class consisted of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony just to name a few. For all the great players that was in that draft we did have the Darko Milicic pick that will live in infamy and probably the answer on the Jeopardy board as the pick that helped get Joe Dumars fired. The Chicago Bulls have the 16th and 19th picks in the first round. They also have the 49th pick in the second round. Pippen Ain’t Easy plays scout in the NBA Draft covering the point guards. Let’s be clear here Pippen Peoples, no one knows what the Bulls are going to do with these picks for a myriad of reasons…
1) The Chicago Bulls don’t tell anyone what they are going to do. Sometimes I don’t think THEY know what they are going to do. Anyone who thinks that is an insult, remember you have a General Manager and a head coach who is acting like a divorced couple who has to come together for their child’s school play.
2) After the first three picks, there are really no guarantees on what will happen based on how the other teams will pick. Did anyone think the Cleveland Cavaliers would pick Anthony Bennett at number one last year?
3) They need to fill a lot of needs on this roster. Basically by the time they get to the 16th pick, it will be the cliché scenario. Select the best player available.
Let’s play scout and check out the top point guards in the draft that MAY be available.
1) Tyler Ennis- Syracuse-Freshman
6’2″ 182 lbs
Averages: 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Ennis was named to the 2014 All-ACC second team, All–ACC Freshman team and All-ACC Defensive team. Was named one of the 10 semi-finalists for the Naismith College Player of the Year.
Well I can say this. The Chicago Bulls may still get that player from Syracuse. It’s just not going to be Carmelo Anthony. But Tyler Ennis could be a nice consolation prize. Tyler Ennis is considered the top true point guard in the draft. Word around the campfire that the Orlando Magic may want him too but they are also taking a look at Dante Exum. What the Bulls can get from this guy is toughness and steady play. He is not particularly athletic which could be a reason the Magic would take Exum, but he does thrive in the pick and roll offense. This is a good thing considering that the Bulls need a point guard that can run an offensive set.
My opinion: If he’s available, I would take him. He does have heart evidenced by a 35 footer at the buzzer to beat Pitt during the season. I do have reservations on how the Syracuse Orangemen fell off the cliff after a hot start late in the year. Being the point guard, it’s on him to stem the tide when things are going south. Losing in the third round of the NCAA tournament shows he didn’t.
2) Zach Lavine- UCLA Freshman
6’6″ 181 lbs
Averages: 9.4 points, 2,5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
Okay Pippen Peoples if you can get anything out of this, bless you. Zach Lavine is in this position for potential that he possesses that NBA people seem to love. Of course everyone knows the phrase, “Potential can get you fired.” Well let’s go through the facts. Lavine is 6-foot 5 inches and is incredibly athletic and he burned up the combine in Chicago a couple of weeks back. Here’s the great thing, Lavine can shoot straight YAY!
This is a little bit of a gamble considering that he actually came off the bench for the Bruins last year. I’ll just chalk that up to head coach Steve Alford starting his son over Lavine even though Lavine has all of the makings of a NBA player (I thought the coach’s son thing went away in high school? Oh well.) Lavine likens his game to former Chicago Bull Jamal Crawford. Let’s just hope he plays like the Jamal Crawford in L.A. and not the Jamal Crawford in Chicago. There’s a HUGE difference.
My opinion: I have issues buying into players that can’t crack the starting lineup in college even if Daddy wants his son to start. Jrue Holliday was in Lavine’s position five years ago and was drafted by the Sixers with the 17th pick. He became an All-Star four years later. One question though, Have you heard from him lately? However, I have a soft spot for shooters that have confidence. He’s better than what the Bulls have in the backcourt now not named Derrick Rose. If Ennis is gone, take him.
3) Shabazz Napier- UCONN-Senior
6’1″ 182 lbs
Averages: 18.1 points, 5.9 reboundsand 2.1 steals per game.
Let me get my opinion in here now and let’s all move on. This guy should be selected with one of the two early picks in the first round. This is the no brainer pick. Shabazz Napier was the driving force behind the UCONN Huskies run to the national title. He won two in his college career. Kind of like that Joakim Noah dude in the middle. He knows how to win. He’s 6’1 but still found time to average nearly six rebounds a game. He’s tough. When I was a radio correspondent for the then Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets), I remember Charlotte drafting a guy out of UCONN by the name of Kemba Walker because he was a winner with supreme confidence. This guy is in the same mold. Last I heard Kemba Walker was doing just fine. So will this guy.
Now we all know the issues the Bulls have in the backcourt. They are as follows…
1) Derrick Rose has been out the majority of the last three years with bad knees. The Bulls still don’t know what they will be getting when he comes back. I’m betting the MVP Derrick Rose will not be it. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it.
2) D.J. Augustin may have played himself into a multi-year contract. Everyone says the right things but can both sides make it happen? He may go the way of Nate Robinson, Marco Bellinelli and CJ Watson. They play well and go off to other teams.
3) Kirk Hinrich needs to go. PLEASE!
I know this will upset Ashley Wijangco (Sorry Ashley, you know we peoples) but Kirk Hinrich’s time has come and gone. He can’t stay in front of quick guards. He can’t shoot. The Washington Wizards devised a scheme to force him to initiate the offense. Did it work? Well Pippen Ain’t Easy has been doing season reviews all month, what do you think?
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 Bulls news previews and reviews.