Could the Bulls target Kendall Brown on draft night?

Kendall Brown, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Kendall Brown, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

With the 2022 NBA draft just days away, there are far more questions than answers pertaining to the Chicago Bulls‘ draft night strategy. Given the team’s defensive struggles towards the end of last season, it would make sense for the front office to prioritize defense. But with the 18th selection, there’s no guarantee the players that fit best will be available by the time the Bulls are on the clock.

Two-way bigs like Jalen Duren and Mark Williams would fit nicely on the Bulls roster, but the chances of either of them falling to the Bulls aren’t great. One player who is almost certain to be on the board at 18 and possible later if the Bulls decide to trade back is Baylor wing, Kendall Brown. Brown’s game and tape are reminiscent of recent Bulls first-rounder Patrick Williams in more ways than one.

Brown has been on the NBA’s radar for quite some time. He quickly rose up high school rankings and was a five-star on every major scouting website before committing to Baylor. Though Brown had modest statistical output, he was still named to the Big-12 All-Conference Team and helped Baylor secure another No.1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Baylor’s Kendall Brown’s game and college career may remind fans of a recent Chicago Bulls draft selection.

Despite not being the most productive offensively at Baylor, Brown has a solid base to work from with a solid jumper and nice flashes as a scorer. Additionally, he is one of the best athletes in the class and possesses all the tools necessary to be an elite defender at the next level. At 6’8″, Brown has the length to guard bigger players while also containing the lateral quickness and foot speed to take on smaller players.

Brown’s offensive game may be a work in progress, averaging only 9.7 points per game in college; but he was also on a loaded team that didn’t need him to take many shots. On Brown’s limited shots, he was quite efficient, shooting 58.4% from the field and 34.1% from three. Both of these figures lead many scouts to believe Brown is more than capable of becoming a solid scorer at the next level.

The new Bulls front office has proven they like uber-athletic wings with elite defensive tools. Brown would be a defensive contributor from day one with the potential to become a high-end two-way player. The ultimate question is whether or not the Bulls are willing to be patient when they have a roster that can compete for the playoffs. If the team is looking for guys that can help them win now, a player like E.J. Lidell from Ohio State would make more sense.

On top of all this, the Bulls have to deal with the uncertainty surrounding Zach LaVine’s future with the team. If LaVine returns, the Bulls would still be a win-now team, but if he doesn’t, it could cause the front office to go in a completely different direction. All of these factors make the Bulls one of the biggest wild cards in this year’s draft.

Do the Chicago Bulls draft for fit or should they take the best player available? Do they draft for pro readiness or upside? Do they draft a player who could compliment LaVine or one who could replace him? Only time will tell.

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