Chicago Bulls Can Improve Defensively Through Draft


For this year’s NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls will select 22nd on draft night, the same position where Denver selected Kenneth Faried in 2011.

More from Bulls History

We’ve witnessed all season where the Bulls are weak on the defensive end: the small forward and center positions. With the 22nd pick, the Bulls can possibly correct one of the weaknesses they’ve had last season on the defensive end of the floor.

One of the reasons the Bulls season ended in May, instead of June, was due to the lack of resistance on the defensive glass, and the amount of rebounds they gave up to their opposition. The Bulls recorded the second-worst mark for potential defensive rebounds at 68.6 percent.

The Bulls also lacked the defensive intensity that they’ve shown in years past, giving up 35 points per game in the paint to the Cleveland Cavaliers in their six-game series loss last month. The Bulls also ranked 11th in defensive efficiency, after ranking second in the NBA a season ago.

Another issue that has been a constant with the team all season, is the ability to have a better option defensively at small forward.

Many mock drafts have hinted at the Bulls drafting Tyus Jones from Duke University. The motive for drafting Jones being because of Derrick Rose‘s history of injuries, but in today’s NBA, point guards are a dime a dozen, but it’s hard finding frontcourt players that can produce offensively and defensively.

One of the draft selections that is rumored to be on the board for the Bulls at the 22nd pick, according to’s draft expert Zach Harper, is Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. At Arizona, Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.2 points on 50 percent shooting, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

The Bulls will probably need an upgrade at the small forward spot, and based on Hollis-Jefferson’s performance at Arizona, he would be the more affordable and logical choice for the Bulls.

Along with the many issues the Bulls had defensively, the Bulls were exposed this season at the hands of more athletic teams, and defensively, the team has taken a huge step back in the frontcourt. Hollis-Jefferson could help the Bulls on the defensive end, especially with uncertainty as to Jimmy Butler‘s new contract.

Another great selection that the Bulls could possibly draft at No. 22, is UNLV’s Christian Wood. Wood is also another solid big man, and a great leaper that averaged 2.6 blocks per game at UNLV last season.

The Bulls have done well in years past with late picks, drafting Butler in 2011 at No. 30 and trading for Nikola Mirotic in the same draft. The Bulls have experienced great success with late picks, and they will need to do the same this coming draft to improve defensively.

Next: Draft flashback: What if the Bulls drafted Draymond Green?

More from Pippen Ain't Easy