Chicago Bulls: Darius Garland injury risk presents deal breaker?

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images) /
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If the Chicago Bulls want a point guard with a very high ceiling in this draft, former Vanderbilt freshman standout Darius Garland could be the answer.

The official mock draft season has arrived pertaining to the soon to be 2019 NBA Draft. The biggest event of the early portion of the off-season in professional basketball will be a key component of the Chicago Bulls summer. How the lottery plays out could be a deciding factor as to the overall success of the off-season for the Bulls. If the Bulls get the slotting expected, around pick No. 4, in the lottery, the key target could emerge as he ultra-talented Vanderbilt Commodores guard Darius Garland.

This Chicago Bulls team has a big need to add to its depth and skill in the backcourt. Point guard is the main position of need for the Bulls, and Darius Garland could be the answer if former Murray State Racers standout floor general Ja Morant is already off the board. Ideally the Bulls would be able to get Morant in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft.

The whole idea of drafting Morant or Darius Garland mostly falls on the shoulders of the upcoming lottery. There’s a decent, but not great, chance that the Chicago Bulls get a top two or three pick in the first round. Darius Garland is a solid second option, depending on if the Bulls land outside the top five.

A major concern with Garland is the knee injury he suffered near the outset of his true freshman campaign. There shouldn’t be any questioning of his adaptability at the NBA level or his raw talent and skill set. He was rated as a top 25 high school prospect in the nation for the 2018 recruiting cycle. The few games he played with Vanderbilt produced mostly good numbers too.

Lingering knee injuries can also be a concern moving forward for teams at the next level, especially the Chicago Bulls. Although, you can’t form any legitimate connection to learn from between this Darius Garland injury and Derrick Rose with all his ACL issues from within the past decade. Garland didn’t play much at the college hoops level in general. Rose took the Memphis Tigers to new heights in the NCAA Tournament during his collegiate career.

Addressing the point guard need for the Bulls should be done in the draft if possible. It does feel like the Bulls would need more of a sure-thing in terms of injury risk than a player who missed as much time as Garland did. If not for this injury that derailed his only season with Vandy, Garland might be projected as a top three pick for this draft.

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Even with the injury in mind, Garland is still widely considered a top-8 or 10 pick in this draft class. ESPN actually has him ranked as high as No. 4 among all the projected prospects that will be selected in the 2019 NBA Draft. The injury risk is something that the Chicago Bulls front office would have to legitimately think over before selecting him.

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