4 Draft sleepers for Chicago Bulls to scout entering early offseason

Sam Merrill, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
Sam Merrill, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images) /
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Chris Smith (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Chris Smith (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

2. Chris Smith, Guard/Wing

The UCLA Bruins are losing a real matchup nightmare and threat at the two guard or on the wing with the 6-foot-9 and 215 pound Chicago, IL, native and Huntington Prep High School product Chris Smith. During his junior season, Smith became one of the most prolific guards in the PAC-12 on both ends of the floor.

This 2019-20 All-PAC-12 Team selection and PAC-12 Most Improve Player award winner had his best season in college to date. He averaged 13.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.4 blocks. Smith shot 45.8 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 84.0 percent from free-throw line. That amounted to a 50.8 effective field goal percentage and 56.8 true shooting percentage.

The improvement that Smith showed from his sophomore to junior season shows that rapid rate of progression could be valuable in his development at the next level. He registered a career-best 5.2 box plus/minus rating, .140 win shares per 40 minutes, and a 19.6 player efficiency rating last season. He should only continue to improve in the NBA.

Expect Smith to fall around the mid-to-late second round in the 2020 draft. But if he starts to rise up draft boards as we move closer to mid-October, the Bulls should be able to understand where he fits into their long-term rebuild plans. Smith is definitely a good project prospect, who has a lot of potential on both ends of the floor. He’s worth scouting further for the Bulls, if nothing else.

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