3 Draft prospects the Chicago Bulls should target in the Sweet 16

Julian Strawther, Drew Timme, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Draft Prospects (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Julian Strawther, Drew Timme, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Draft Prospects (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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This year’s March Madness has been just as wild as ever, with the third-ever No. 15 seed advancing past the first weekend in Princeton, to Farleigh Dickinson pulling off the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history, there’s been plenty of reasons to tune in as a fan. The Chicago Bulls should also be keeping their eyes on the action, as there are quite a few players still participating in the tourney that would make welcome additions to the team for next season.

Unfortunately, the Bulls do not own the rights to their first-round pick this year, and it doesn’t look like the Portland Trail Blazers will convey their pick to Chicago this year by qualifying for the playoffs. Additionally, the Bulls have had their second-round pick from the Nuggets confiscated as punishment for tampering in the Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade. That doesn’t mean the Bulls can’t still get involved, however, as we’ve seen lately that teams are more willing than ever to trade late first-round picks and second-rounders for assets that better fit their timeline.

Brandon Miller (Alabama), Jarace Walker (Houston), Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas), and Anthony Black (Arkansas) are all projected to go in the top 10, so they will be excluded from this list despite still being in the running for a collegiate championship. We already know these players have enormous potential in the league and will be highly sought after at the draft, but a few other less-widely-known players have really broken onto the scene during this year’s March Madness.

For this list, we’ll instead focus on the non-lottery talents that the Bulls can potentially move back into the draft to select in the late first round or early second round of the draft.

These 3 players are creating shockwaves in the NCAA tournament and making a strong case to be drafted by a team like the Chicago Bulls.

3. Julian Strawther, Gonzaga

Julian Strawther was one of the NCAA tournament’s biggest standout players in the round of 64 this year, as he propelled Gonzaga to a big first-round victory over Grand Canyon University on the back of a 28-point, 10-rebound double-double. Strawther shot 9-for-15 and drilled a trio of threes in a convincing performance that bodes well for his two-way potential in the NBA.

While Gonzaga only won by 12 points, that final margin doesn’t really tell the true story of how dominant the Bulldogs were. Late in the second half, Strawther would convert a lay-up and then follow it up with a huge three-point shot to put Zaga up by 20 points with only 7:53 remaining on the clock. From there, Strawther was able to coast to a comfortable victory in the opening round of the tournament against a better-than-advertised GCU team.

Strawther would unfortunately fail to make the same impact in Gonzaga’s second-round matchup, however, as the junior scored on just 3 of his 10 attempts from the field and was limited to just 10 total points. He still found ways to contribute with 9 rebounds and 3 assists, but if he bounces back with a great game against second-seeded UCLA in the Sweet 16, Strawther’s draft stock stands to receive a big boost.

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