Chicago Bulls: Auburn PG Sharife Cooper interviewed with the team

Sharife Cooper Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Sharife Cooper Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

The process of the Chicago Bulls front office and scouting department continually figuring out how the 2021 NBA Draft big board can stack up for their sole pick saw former Auburn Tigers point guard Sharife Cooper. The Bulls are trying to fill a point guard need this summer. And although someone like Cooper likely wouldn’t fill the role of a starting point guard of the future for the Bulls, he is a draft target worth zoning in on for the fans.

In the week of the 2021 NBA Draft Combine, the Bulls have started to interview and work out a lot of prospects that are worth watching for their second-round draft pick. Cooper has reportedly now interviewed with the Bulls organization, which is something worth watching moving forward.

Cooper has also reportedly interviewed with the Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Milwaukee Bucks. More teams could be on the way to interview him in the near future too.

Former Auburn PG Sharife Cooper now on the Chicago Bulls radar

Most big boards and mock drafts have Cooper falling as an early-to-mid second-round pick in this year’s draft class. So that puts him right around the position that the Bulls are picking in this draft in the second round.

If the Bulls do want to round out some of the depth in their backcourt rotation heading into next season, there are a lot worse draft prospects out there to target than Cooper. The 2020-21 SEC All-Freshman Team selection and 6-foot-1 and 180-pound former elite five-star recruit had a solid run with Auburn last season.

But the main issue that scouts and the media will bring up concerning Cooper, which really took a toll on the team down the stretch, was the ankle setback he suffered back in February. Cooper only got to play in a dozen games thanks to this ankle injury, and a self-imposed postseason ban by Auburn for the 2020-21 campaign.

In those dozen games that Cooper played in last season with Auburn, he averaged 20.2 points per game, 4.3 rebounds, 8.1 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.3 blocks. But he shot just 39.1 percent from the field, 22.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 82.5 percent from the free-throw line.

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The Bulls will hold the 38th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft. And with the 2021 NBA Combine wrapping up in Chicago on June 27, it is just over one month away before the actual festivities of draft night take place, set for July 29.

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