Bulls work out All-ACC star guard ahead of 2023 NBA Draft

Tyree Appleby, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Draft. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Tyree Appleby, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Draft. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

As we inch closer to the start of the offseason, the Chicago Bulls will undoubtedly need to address several holes in their roster construction that could use improvement. Three-point shooting and offensive rebounding issues have plagued this team for quite some time now, but it looks like the Bulls will have a new massive problem sprout up soon if they don’t address it now: the point guard position.

It’s been no secret that the Bulls have struggled to find a true starting-caliber point guard in the wake of Lonzo Ball’s extended absence. But now that Patrick Beverley, Coby White, and Ayo Dosunmu are all set to hit free agency, depth at the point guard position is about to become an equally pressing problem if the front office doesn’t act fast.

The Bulls will be forced to look for solutions any number of solutions now that they’re faced with the possibility of losing three key contributors from last year’s team. While re-signing those three are simply finding adequate replacements in free agency may seem like the obvious answer here, scouring this year’s draft class just might be a more cost-effective avenue to explore.

That’s where a player like Tyree Appleby comes in, as the Bulls have reportedly scheduled a workout for the talented guard ahead of the draft.

Wake Forest’s Tyree Appleby could be a sneaky steal for the Chicago Bulls at the 2023 NBA Draft.

Already 24 years old and set to turn 25 in September, Appleby has understandably flown under the radar for many scouts simply because he is exceptionally old for a rookie. After two seasons with Cleveland State and another three at Florida (including a redshirt season), it wasn’t until Appleby transferred to Wake Forest for his senior season that he truly came into his own.

Tyree averaged a tremendous 18.8 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.8 steals this season while drilling 36% of his three-point attempts on a high volume of 6.5 attempts per game. Factoring in a very good 82% clip from the line, Appleby looks like he has the skills to be not only a great playmaker, but a dangerous shooting threat from outside — two key areas the Bulls struggle in.

His efforts landed him an All-ACC First-Team selection this season, a distinguished honor when you consider the fact that several notable NBA players like Donovan Mitchell, Zion Williamson, Paolo Banchero, De’Andre Hunter, R.J. Barrett, Luke Kennard, and Tre Jones have also achieved this distinction in recent years.

For rebuilding teams drafting in the lottery, they’d much prefer to take a swing on a younger player with a higher projected ceiling. For a team without a pick to their name like the Bulls, however, Appleby is exactly the type of player Chicago should be targeting to bring in and make a difference as a quality reserve.

Much like we saw with Ayo Dosunmu after being selected 38th overall in 2021, sometimes the older and more developed players that everyone is overlooking are the ones who can come in and make an immediate impact. Whether or not this means the Bulls plan on trading up into the second round, or they have Appleby on their undrafted watch list, it’s still reassuring to see that the front office doesn’t intend to let the draft pass by without making any moves.

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