Bulls eyeing Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver with number seven pick

Longtime Bulls beat reporter Sam Smith believes the Bulls will take shooting guard Jarrett Culver with the number seven overall pick in his latest mock draft.

The 6-foot-7 guard averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in his sophomore season and helped lead the Red Raiders to the NCAA Championship game where they lost in overtime to the Virginia Cavaliers.

He was also named the Big 12’s conference player of the year.

Culver was a formidable force throughout the regular season and the NCAA tournament. He has a strong mid-range game and can play multiple different styles of basketball on the offensive end. He can drive and finish at the rim and appears to have a knack for finishing in traffic and through contact. Culver averaged nearly seven free throw attempts for every 40 minutes on the court. He has also shown the ability to hit the outside shot at a decent rate, shooting 38 percent from the three-point line his freshman year.

One thing scouts love about Culver is his court vision and knowledge of when to kick the ball out to a shooter or drop the ball off to a teammate in the paint from a dribble drive.

Defensively, scouts like Culver’s ability to disrupt passing lanes with his 6-foot-9 wingspan, his willingness to get to loose balls on the floor, and his ability to rebound defensively from the guard position. He has also shown enough quickness to close out on shooters off of a ball screen. He’s not Jimmy Butler defensively but he does have a similar motor on the defensive end that you don’t often see from young NBA prospects.

Finally, what cannot be overlooked about the potential number seven pick is his work ethic.

Culver was essentially an unknown recruit when he signed with Texas Tech in 2017 and is now considered the most improved player in NCAA basketball. Improvement like that won’t be forgotten as the draft gets closer.

When you watch his film, Culver appears to do everything well but never at a superior level consistently. He is likely to be an above average NBA player for many years as scouts often compare him to former Trail Blazer Steve Smith.

With that being said, the Bulls would likely benefit more from a strong ball handling point guard like Coby White or Darius Garland, rather than a shooting guard like Culver.

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