Realistic Draft Options for Chicago Bulls


The Chicago Bulls in the years under Tom Thibodeau were tough, gritty and outhustled their opponents on a nightly basis to win, but in the last two seasons, the Bulls’ defensive culture has taken a step back, with the team dropping from second in the NBA in defensive efficiency during the 2013-14 season, to 11th in the NBA last season.

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After last month’s series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Chicago Bulls front office obviously now face a crossroads on ways to improve the roster, and resolve the weaknesses the team has, primarily on the defensive end of the floor.

In their two playoff series during the postseason, the Bulls gave up an average of 36 points per game in the paint.

Kelly Scaletta, a well-known Bulls writer for different hoop sites on the web, mentioned that there are 3 keys to beating the Bulls:

  • Push the pace.
  • Win the battle in the paint.
  • Stop Derrick Rose’s penetration.

Those keys seem to be the same today, as the Bulls struggled most of the year to prevent teams from scoring on them in the paint, and teams that get out and run the floor, have been difficult for the Bulls to have success against this past season.

Add in superstar point guard Derrick Rose undergoing his third knee surgery of his young career last February, there appears to be a sense of security as it relates to what type of player Gar Forman and John Paxson will choose on Thursday.

With Rose’s uncertain future, wouldn’t you want to draft a point guard in order to ensure that you have security at that position, just in case Rose goes down again next season?

With Kirk Hinrich having a player option in the final year of his contract as the Chicago Bulls backup point guard to Rose, and Aaron Brooks being a free agent come July 1, not only are the Bulls in need of frontcourt help, but they’re also in need of a legitimate backup point guard.

E’Twaun Moore could possibly return next season on a team option, but is he a legit option behind Rose? Moore played just nine minutes per game, and could possibly perform at a much more productive level, but the Bulls would still need a better and younger option heading into the future.

With the 22nd selection, there are a few options the Bulls will have:

  • Drafting an athletic SF (specifically to help Jimmy Butler guard LeBron James in the warmer months)
  • A legitmate backup at PG (as a security blanket for Rose’s health)

According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the Bulls could possibly use their 22nd pick to draft Arizona wing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Jefferson is a 6’7″, 210-pound small forward that has great shot-blocking ability, can put the ball on the floor and finish at the rim.

Jefferson is athletically gifted and can make others around him better, along with his rebounding ability, as RHJ averaged 6.25 rebounds for the Wildcats in his two seasons.

Another great selection, that would be a great fit for the Bulls at SF is Virginia’s Justin Anderson. Anderson could still be on the board before the Bulls make their selection. At Virginia, Anderson averaged 12.2 points per game on 46 percent shooting and averaged 4 rebounds per game.

Anderson can extend his range and knock down three-point shots, and he can finish at the rim through contact and off an oop. The junior wing ranked second in the vertical leap measurements at this year’s draft combine. Anderson is a versatile scorer that can also post-up in the paint. At the 22nd pick, Anderson would give the Bulls the athleticism they need, and the defense at SF, as his shot blocking ability is acceptable.

According to’s Sam Vecenie and Zach Harper, the Bulls are projected to draft Delon Wright from the University of Utah. Wright has great distribution skills, along with great penetration ability, as teams struggled to keep him out of the paint. At 6’5″, Wright has great length and is able to make difficult passes over the defense. Wright would be a great selection, because he can do a little bit of everything, and he has great size at the point guard position.

At Utah last season, Wright averaged 14.5 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 5.1 assists per game. The Bulls can correct their issues at point guard or they can correct their defense on the wing with the 22nd pick in the NBA Draft.

They unfortunately only have one selection (for now), and will only be in the position to fulfill one of these needs. Which position will they address? We’ll all find out on Thursday.

Next: Bulls should draft Derrick Rose's protege on Thursday night

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