Chicago Bulls: 5 criminally underrated NBA Draft targets

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
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Sports Illustrated Big Board Ranking: 7

Although he has continually risen up big boards and mock drafts throughout the year, Jarrett Culver is still a seriously undervalued prospect. While he may not possess star power like the Duke trio of freshman, Culver leads a top ten team in the country in Texas Tech in points, rebounds, and assists. The sophomore has carried the Red Raiders to a share of the Big 12 conference title, snapping Kansas’ fourteen-year streak of consecutive conference titles.

Although listed at 6-foot-5-inches tall, many speculate he’s grown since entering college and could even peak out at up to an additional three inches. This bodes well for Chicago, who would likely want to utilize Culver in a versatile role off the bench, allowing the Bulls to stagger LaVine and Porter’s minutes when necessary. Looking ahead to the future, having a long-term solution at the wing could benefit the Bulls if they decide to move on from Otto Porter after his contract expires.

Of all the perimeter players available in the upcoming draft, Culver may have the highest floor of them all.

A 29 point, 8 rebound, and 7 assist flurry from Culver downed Northern Kentucky in the opening round of the tournament. Culver followed that performance up with a double-double in a dominating victory over sixth-seeded Buffalo. Whenever he was on the floor, he demonstrated the ability to take over the game from anywhere on the court.

One aspect of his game that could use some work is his three-point shooting, but for a team full of good shooters like the Bulls this shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Considering Culver shot 38.2 percent as a freshman, has a smooth shooting form and a tough work ethic, it’s likely he develops into at least a league average shooter. Culver boasts an elite mid-range game, shooting an outrageous 55.5 percent within the arc. For reference, that’s equivalent to Ja Morant’s two-point shooting, while playing much tougher competition.

If the Chicago Bulls fail to land a top three pick in the upcoming draft. Culver will likely still be on the board and worth investing in for a team that needs to add just a few finishing touches on its rebuilding roster. Given the Bulls prior track record of success in the draft, it’s safe to assume they can make the most of their disappointing season.

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As draft night in June looms ahead, stay tuned as the Chicago Bulls seek to fill the team’s glaring holes and build a young, cohesive roster.

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