Which 2022 NBA Mock Draft would be best result for Bulls?

Malaki Branham, E.J. Liddell, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Malaki Branham, E.J. Liddell, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Tari Eason, 2022 NBA Mock Draft, Chicago Bulls
Tari Eason, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Athletic – Tari Eason, LSU

By all accounts, Tari Eason is someone who many analysts project to be selected at least a few spots ahead of where the Bulls currently sit in the pecking order. Eason was great at the collegiate level, scoring a very efficient 16.9 points and grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game off the bench for LSU.

Tari also proved to be effective on the other end of the court as an excellent on-ball defender, generating a combined 3.0 blocks and steals per game despite only seeing the court 24 minutes a night. His projected defensive capabilities will undoubtedly be one of his biggest draws come draft day.

While the raw talent may be there, Eason has a multitude of flaws that could send him spiraling down the big board. Early on in his NBA career, Eason is likely going to commit many avoidable fouls, he’s going to struggle with creating offense without turning the ball over, and he’s going to have to figure out how to be an effective scoring threat even when teams force him to his weaker left side.

However, I believe the Bulls are a team that can be patient for Tari to figure these things out and let the game come to him naturally. He may be a long-term project player, but if he’s on the board at No. 18, Chicago would be foolish to not add the dynamic two-way forward to their long-term plans.

Malaki Branham, 2022 NBA Mock Draft, Chicago Bulls
Malaki Branham, Chicago Bulls (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Ringer – Malaki Branham, Ohio State

Malaki Branham impressed many scouts during his lone freshman season at Ohio State with his shot-making ability. He’s the type of player who rises to the challenge and will gain many fans wherever he ends up in the league.

Branham shot 41.6% from deep and 83.3% from the free throw line, both of which bode well for his shooting translating to an NBA level. As a second option, he rose to the challenge and showed glimpses of being a great creator and offensive playmaker.

However, with the Bulls already being so loaded up on talented guards, it’s hard to see where Branham fits with the core moving forward. It’s possible Branham could be viewed as an eventual Coby White replacement, but even then he’d still have to contend with Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Ayo Dosunmu for a sizable role in the rotation.

Ironically, Branham’s teammate at Ohio State E.J. Liddell may be a more realistic draft target for the Bulls, and one who many fans are already rallying behind.

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