Chicago Bulls 2011 NBA Draft Picks, Prospects, & Needs
The NBA Draft is upon us. Coverage will start at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN. The Bulls have two selections in the 1st round and, 1 selection in the 2nd round.
Bulls Draft Picks
28th Pick, 1st round
30th Pick, 1st round
43rd Pick, 2nd round
Bulls Draft Needs
Bulls Potential Prospects
Pick 28 – Charles Jenkins (Hofstra) – I feel that the Bulls need another creator, shooter, solid defender, and someone that has a high basketball IQ. He is not tall enough to play shooting guard full-time, but I think he is good enough to be an impact player for the Bulls off the bench.
Pick 30 – JaJuan Johnson (Purdue) – I actually think JaJuan has a chance to be a better player than Charles Jenkins, but also feel he has a better chance of sliding at 30. While I wonder if he is strong enough to play at the next level, I don’t question his ability to shoot a jumper that is really difficult to defend. He has good foot speed, can jump, and is a solid athlete overall and therefore I feel he can do a little more than Channing Frye at the next level. If the Bulls trade up slightly and have to choose one player, I would actually pick JaJuan before Charles in this instance.
Pick 43 – E’Twaun Moore (Purdue) – I promise I am not a Purdue Fan. I just feel that E’Twaun’s game is what we need as a backup at the next level; possibly eventually a solid starter. If he can maximize his talent, I can see him being a less athletic Courtney Lee with better handles. He is also a cheap 12th man type player.
28. Chicago (from Mia via Tor)- Tyler Honeycutt, SF, UCLA, 6-8, Soph.
Tom Thibodeau preaches defense and Tyler Honeycutt has the quickness and length to be a solid defender in the NBA. He also gives them some flexibility on the wing.
30. Chicago (from TOR via MIA)- Nolan Smith, G, Duke, 6-3, Sr.
The Bulls failed to add some scoring punch off their bench prior to the trade deadline and look to do so with one of their picks. Nolan Smith should be able to play either guard position and possibly find a spot in Chicago’s rotation right away. He kind of models his game after Chauncey Billups, but he’s much more a combo guard than a true point.
I know what you’re thinking- how many Dukies does JohnGar Paxman (I coalesced the two de facto GMs into one name there- see what I did?) need on the roster? Well, this would make the roster 1/4 former Duke Blue Devils, but you know what the front office likes to do on draft night: go big school prospect with lots of college basketball experience. The hope is he can give them an added boost off the bench. Smith is not the true creator that the Bulls crave but the best option this late
43. Chicago (from UTAH)- Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia, 6-10, Jr.
Considering he could be taken in the late first round, Trey Thompkins would be a great value here and add even more depth up-front for Chicago.
Kenneth Faried, Moorehead State
Kenneth Faried would immediately mesh with the Chicago Bulls. He’s a high-energy player who fights for every rebound and plays tenacious defense.
The major thing working against Faried is that he’s 6’7″ and a power forward. He has drawn comparisons to players like that who have been successful (Dennis Rodman, Paul Millsap), but it’s always a gamble. He averaged a stunning 13.3 rebounds per game at the college level.
If Faried fell to the Bulls at pick No. 30, I could see them taking a chance on him. Otherwise, he does not fit a need enough to move up and draft him.
Marshon Brooks, Providence
At 6’5″ and 195 pounds, Marshon Brooks has the right size for a shooting guard in the NBA. Moreover, he finished second in the entire NCAA in scoring while at Providence, putting up 24.6 points per game. That sounds like the type of scoring the Bulls need from the shooting guard position.
Even more impressive is his wingspan and quick feet, which, with a bit of teaching from Tom Thibodeau, could help Brooks develop into a quality defender. He can create off the dribble with a variety of crossovers and knows how to finish at the rim. Plus, scouts have said he has NBA three-point range already.
Nolan Smith, Duke
Selecting Nolan Smith is more or less equal to drafting the aforementioned Mack. If I had to compare Smith to a former Bulls player, it would probably be another Duke product, Chris Duhon.
Smith, like most Duke draftees, comes with a high basketball IQ. However, he lacks NBA range on his three-pointers and isn’t fast enough to create separation easily with his defender. He’s also 6’3″, which would mean he’d have to play point guard at the risk of being too undersized on defense.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine the Bulls taking Smith with one of their first-round picks. He’s projected as an early second-rounder, so the Bulls would have to hope he falls to pick 44.
Shelvin Mack, Butler
If previous drafting by John Paxson is any indication, Shelvin Mack will be a member of the Chicago Bulls. Paxson has proven time and time again to favor players who were winners at the college level. Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas and Derrick Rose all fit that bill.
Though I never cared for Gordon, Mack has the potential to become a similar player. He’s only 6’2″, but is a sparkplug offensively, and with a bit of work, could develop into a point guard. It might take him a few years to do so, but by that time, C.J. Watson’s contract will be up, and he could learn from Rose how to score and distribute at the point guard spot.
He’s projected as a late first-round pick, so the Bulls could sit back and wait for him to come at pick 28 or 30.
Kyle Singler, Duke
The Bulls already have Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng and made a major play for J.J. Redick last summer. Seems like Paxson has a thing for Duke players.
Kyle Singler is the type of player who isn’t going to come with any surprises. He’s a 6’9″ small forward who will try hard on defense and has the ability to knock down shots. However, his upside is limited, and at best, he’s probably a similar NBA player to former Duke forward Mike Dunleavy.
It’s hard to imagine the Bulls using a first-round pick on a player with such limited upside, but should he fall to pick No. 44, Chicago would likely snag him to become a role player.
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