Welcome to the Chicago Bulls 2018 NBA Draft Board. In this series, I will breakdown and analyze the strengths, weaknesses and perceived fit of draft prospects who the Bulls could potentially select with the No. 7 and No. 22 picks in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Name: Chandler Hutchison
Date of birth; Age: April 26, 1996; 22-years-old
Weight: 197 lbs
School: Boise State University
College stats: 31 games played and started during the 2017-18 season. Hutchison tallied 20 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. He shot 47.5 percent shooting from the field, 35.9 percent on 3-point attempts and 72.8 percent on free-throws.
Projected draft selection: No. 22-No. 26
There’s clearly a significant amount to like about Hutchison’s game. The Chicago Bulls wouldn’t have reportedly made a promise they’d draft the 22-year-old wing with their No. 22 draft pick if there wasn’t a lot to be impressed by.
After testing the NBA Draft landscape last summer, Hutchison returned to Boise State for his senior season and led the conference in scoring by tallying 20 points per game with a 47.5 field goal percentage. His potent interior scoring ability has enabled him to be one of the most definitive scorers in the country. Hutchison uses a combination of nifty footwork and soft touch to finish at the rim efficiently.
Whether he’s galloping across the court in transition, cutting to the basket off the ball or attacking the rim after a close out, the two-time All-Mountain West Conference first team member’s incredible body control and poise makes him one of the best at-rim finishing wings in the 2018 NBA Draft class.
Hutchison has proven he isn’t afraid of contact when attacking the rim. He averaged 7.2 free-throw attempts per game during the 2017-18 season. Even though he typically savvily glides into the lane, Hutchison is athletic enough to finish over the top of defenses with lobs and coast-to-coast dunks.
Hutchison was depended upon to carry a heavier offensive load during his junior and senior seasons. He tallied a combined 18.7 usage percentage during his first two seasons in college and a 31.05 usage percentage during his last two years in college.
Hutchison used the added offensive responsibility to display two major improvements in his skillset; playmaking and shooting. He recorded career highs of 3.5 assists per game and a 24.1 assist percentage. Hutchison consistently exhibited a knack for finding open teammates off the dribble.
Hutchison is an improved shooter
Prior to his junior season, Hutchison altered his shooting mechanics by releasing the ball higher in his shooting motion. This helped make him a more consistent shooter from beyond the arc, especially as a spot-up/catch-and-shoot threat. After having shot a combined 25.9 percent from 3-point land on 0.5 attempts per game during his first two collegiate seasons, Hutchison shot 36.5 percent on 3-pointers with 3.1 attempts per game during his junior and season campaigns.
Something to be encouraged by is Hutchison’s efficiency increased as his role on the team magnified. His true shooting percentage, effective field goal percentage and player efficiency rating all experienced a steady uptick along with his usage rate throughout his collegiate career.
Teams will be enamored with the hustle and perceived defense versatility Hutchison can bring to the floor. He brought down 9.9 rebounds per 40 minutes during his junior and senior seasons; a remarkable number for a wing. Hutchison crashes the boards hard and creates easy points for himself in transition because of his rebounding ability.
He has the size, length and strength to be the kind of player teams deploy when they’re looking to put out “switch-all-screens”, wing heavy lineups.
Hutchison is a reliable team defender. He stays connected and focused during rotations; you’ll rarely catch him napping or disengaged off the ball. He’s been successful with using his length and anticipation skills to clog opposing team’s passing lanes; 1.5 steals per game and a MW All-Defensive Team recipient during the 2017-18 season.
For as much as he’s developed during his four year collegiate career, Hutchison has some pretty notable flaws that prevent him from considered a “can’t miss”, mid-first round prospect.
Hutchison isn’t very creative when he attempts to take defenders off the dribble in isolation. He’s a straight to the basket attacker, which makes him great in transition and on off-ball cuts/motion offense. But, he has a hard time making quick lateral movements with the ball in his hands in one-on-one situations.
Even when he’s able to get by his defender, Hutchison doesn’t have the in-between offensive game to truly punish defenses. His pull-up game (from the dreaded midrange) leaves a considerable amount to be desired. His shooting motion is still a work in progress because his form can regress to the lower release point he deployed earlier in his collegiate career, especially on pull-ups in comparison to his catch-and-shoot jumpers.
Hutchison needs to develop an in-between game
Hutchison also doesn’t have a strong floater game to make up for his questionable pull-up jumper. This is surprising for someone who finishes around the rim with the soft touch he does. Teams with above average rim protectors and schemes that force players to take midrange shots will be Hutchison’s kryptonite unless he can develop a more effective in between the arc and paint scoring skillset.
Hutchison turns the ball over far too often; 3.5 assists/3.4 turnovers per game during his senior campaign. His ball-handling skills can use refinement as he gets stripped frequently when he attacks the basket. This may have been due to his increase offensive role. But, he’s always been a more turnover prone player.
A lot of the intrigue surrounding Hutchison’s defensive versatility is more theory than proven. Hutchison wasn’t forced to guard a lot of players in isolation because Boise State played a zone defense. His lack of lateral quickness may prevent him from being able to consistently hang with guards on the perimeter. His defensive versatility may go as far as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder; very good against forwards but struggles against guards.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before:
“We need to look at the wing position,” Paxson said. “That would be an ideal spot. Size and length at the wing, a shooting component; a defensive component would be something that if you’re looking at an area we would like to improve, that would be it. We can use versatile players, guys that have length and size and shooting component, those types of things.
Even as a player who’s projected to be drafted towards the end of the first round, Hutchison checks off all those boxes. After entering college with one elite skill, his finishing ability, he turned himself into a well-rounded player who can contribute to winning in a multitude of ways.
Even though his limitations and age (22) make his perceived ceiling significantly lower than a prospect like Michael Porter Jr., he’d be able to contribute instantly off the bench as a forward who can defend multiple positions, put pressure on defenses by scoring decisively and efficiently and play unselfish basketball.
He’s the kind of player the Chicago Bulls could use with their second pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.