5 March Madness stars who need to be on Bulls draft radar

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With the Raptors spiraling out of control on a 15-game loss streak and the Nets mathematically falling out of playoff contention, the Chicago Bulls can finally relax a bit and celebrate. Clinching a spot in the play-in tournament, the Bulls are buckling up for another potential postseason run. If we're lucky, things just might turn out differently than they did last year.

Unfortunately, the Bulls can no longer mathematically move up in standings, so that leaves very little reason to continue rooting for the Bulls to win regular season games until the play-in tournament rolls around. Instead, Chicago could potentially improve their draft lottery odds by losing a few games and letting the young core get some additional play time in the process.

In the likely event the Bulls fail to escape the play-in tournament, they're going to want to add a great prospect in the draft to compensate for another extremely mediocre season. What better time of year to watch the nation's best up-and-coming talent than March Madness?

Plenty of prospects have made a name for themselves in this year's NCAA tournament, but here's a look at the select few I believe the Bulls would be wise to have on their radar ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft.

The Bulls could salvage a disappointing season by drafting one of these March Madness standouts.

5. Kyle Filipowski, Duke

Returning to Duke for a second go-around proved to be a worthwhile gamble for 2023 ACC Rookie of the Year Kyle Filipowski, as his draft stock has only steadily improved ever since. Averaging 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game, Filipowski anchored a strong 27-9 Duke roster that looked capable of beating anyone on any given night.

Filipowski really proved his worth in the ACC Tournament finals, where he dropped an astounding 28 points and 14 rebounds on 13-for-20 shooting from the field. Despite his best efforts, Duke would end up losing that game to a surging NC State squad. The Blue Devils would rebuild some momentum in the NCAA tournament by beating Vermont, James Madison, and #1 seed Houston on the way to the Elite 8... just to be defeated by NC State once again.

Although Duke failed to qualify for the Final Four, it's through no failing of Filipowski's.

His versatility as a 7-foot center cannot be understated. Taking that extra year to develop his game really paid off, as Filipowski upped his three-point percentage to a respectable 34.8% this season, proving he can hang around in the modern NBA.

Filipowski is currently projected as a mid-first-round pick, meaning it's very likely that he will still be on the board when the Bulls make their pick. This could give Chicago some added flexibility by potentially trading back to recoup a few later-round picks. Although he's projected in the mid-first, Filipowski appears to be a top-three center in this year's draft class, meaning the Bulls could fill a huge position of need while still getting value for their pick here.