2015 NBA Draft: Early Look at Mock Drafts for Bulls at No. 22


With the 2015 NBA Draft just a little over a month away, we’ll take a look at some potential first-round selections for the Chicago Bulls, including the possibility of a trade.

No, the Chicago Bulls didn’t keep Jusef Nurkic at No. 16 in the 2014 NBA Draft.

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The Bulls traded their 16th pick (Nurkic) and their 19th pick (former Michigan State guard Gary Harris) to Denver for their 11th pick in 2014, which turned out to be Doug McDermott.

After having three picks last year in the draft, the Bulls will have just one selection on draft night next month. There is a possibility of a trade for the Bulls this season with a new coach potentially coming in, and the budget getting extremely tight with Jimmy Butler‘s max contract situation.

If the Bulls do keep the 22nd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, many outlets and experts have differing opinions on who the Bulls will select.

Bleacher Report picking for the Bulls at No. 22: Cedi Osman, 6’8″, SG/SF, Macedonia

I’ll admit, this name was rather odd and surprising.

Osman is a 20-year-old wing that plays for Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League. From what little I’ve seen of Osman in action, the comparisons to former Bull Andres Nocioni could be made.

Osman can handle the ball quite well for his size and distributes the ball well in transition and in the half-court. The big question with Osman’s game is his jumper.

B/R’s Johnathan Wasserman on the pick:

"At 6’8”, Osman has terrific size and the versatility to play either guard or wing. He can handle the ball, and though he needs to work on shooting consistency, Osman’s jumper looks promising.Chicago could also look to trade this pick, whether it’s to move up or to move out."

DraftExpress picking for the Bulls at No. 22: Justin Anderson, 6’6″, SG/SF, Virginia

I recently wrote about the Bulls taking Justin Anderson with the 22nd pick, and it could potentially be a great pick if Butler looks for big dollars elsewhere, along with management letting Mike Dunleavy walk this summer.

Anderson’s a fantastic-looking NBA wing with his size and length. When he’s healthy, he’s got the potential to become a two-way star at the next level.

DX’s Derek Bodner on the pick:

"Anderson’s defensive tools have had him on the NBA radar for some time, but it’s been his improvement on the offensive end, and specifically in his perimeter shot, that has him in discussions to be a first round pick this June. After shooting only 30.3% and 29.4% in his first two seasons at Virginia, Anderson made 47 of his 104 three point attempts during his junior season, good for an excellent 45.2% from three point range."

NBADraft.net also selected Anderson for the Bulls in their 2015 NBA Draft mock.

Tajh Jenkins of NBADraft.net wrote on Anderson’s strengths by saying,

"Outstanding leaper … Skilled and explosive wing player … Does a little bit of everything … Is tireless, a hard worker and has a high motor … Versatile and well-rounded player (could play either SG or SF at the next level) … Strong and powerful … A slasher … Capable of scoring the ball from the 3-point line, mid-range, and in the paint … Improved drastically from the 3-point line this past season (29 percent as a sophomore and 45 percent as a junior) … Scored very well in a low scoring offense … Good catch and shooter … Can space the floor … Improving mid-range jumper"

Here’s where things get interesting for the Bulls’ pick. CBS Sports’ trio of Sam Vecenie, Gary Parrish and Zach Harper all picked different (and interesting) selections for the Bulls at No. 22.

Vecenie picked: Sam Dekker, 6’9″, SF, Wisconsin

Parrish picked: Christian Wood, 6’11, PF, UNLV

Harper picked: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 6’7″, SF, Arizona

Vecenie’s thoughts on the Bulls selecting Dekker at No. 22:

"Best player available here for the Bulls. Dekker could provide some offense on the wing next to Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. The key for Dekker will be to keep developing as a shooter. That is what opens up the rest of his game, as seen during the NCAA Tournament when the forward knocked down shots to set up his game and then attacked closeouts off of it to get to the rim. He’s also terrific at moving off ball, and at 6-9 could possibly play some small-ball 4."

Parrish’s thoughts on Wood at No. 22:

"It’s unlikely the Bulls can, in the 20s, add a player who will help immediately. So why not swing for the so-called fences on a talent like Wood who would go in the lottery if not for red flags? That’s what I’d do because Wood’s potential is enticing."

Harper’s thoughts on RHJ at No. 22:

"Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would be a perfect Tom Thibodeau type of wing. Even if Thibodeau ends up leaving this summer, he’s still a defender on the wing that can take some of the defensive pressure off of Jimmy Butler."

Looking at the three selections, Dekker would be the best option for the Bulls. Not only can Dekker penetrate and get to the basket, he’s a smart player, and his shooting ability will keep the defense honest and help the Bulls space the floor offensively. (Basically, look at Dekker as a young Dunleavy coming out of Duke.)

Many are probably wondering, “What about McDermott or Tony Snell?”

That’s a valid question that doesn’t have an answer as of now. Until the Bulls decide to let Tom Thibodeau go as head coach, nothing’s going to change in terms of the Bulls’ rotation, not including injuries.

If the Bulls do decide to keep their pick at No. 22, they will have options with a fair share of needs. The Bulls could address anything from an heir to Derrick Rose at point guard, a potential “plan B” in case Butler bolts for a different city, or a body up front to help take the load off Pau Gasol and give Joakim Noah less time on the floor to keep him fresh.

It’s valid to say that this pick won’t contribute right away, regardless of who is pacing the sideline for the Bulls, but the Bulls have been one of the league’s best in terms of finding talent later in the first round.

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