The Chicago Bulls new front office team has some tough decisions ahead of them and the heavy lifting has started with the team not playing in Orlando next month.
For beginners, the Bulls need to give Wendell Carter Jr. the ball and while it doesn’t involve a roster move, he needs to be a bigger part of the team’s offense, when healthy. Before injuring his ankle, he averaged over 11 points a game and nearly 10 rebounds per game. Still, Carter participated in the rising star’s game on All-Star weekend, validating the claims that “this kid’s got game.”
Longtime Bulls beat writer Sam Smith mentions the top four draft picks that the Bulls may select. The players are: Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards, Dayton forward Obi Toppin, point guard LaMelo Ball and Memphis center James Weisman. Smith mentions that Edwards is not a great shooter, Toppin could be too small to play inside the perimeter, Weisman is ‘a thin center,’ and Ball comes from a family that is known to be ball dominant.
Point guard and center are the top two needs for the team. Will Otto Porter Jr. return next season after missing most of this past season? After next season, he is due to be a free agent and will the Bulls be able to retain him due to salary cap changes thanks to the pandemic.
Another potential draft pick that could help the point guard weakness is Deni Avdija, who is from Israel. If selected, Smith notes that Avdija can function as a wing player, who can pass and play in transition. While Coby White excelled in his rookie season, White is viewed more as a scoring guard than a point guard.
The new VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is from Lithuania and when he was with the Denver Nuggets, he drafted a couple notable players from Europe. Evan Fournier from France, Nikola Jokic from Serbia, the most notable draft picks of Karnisovas and he has some solid connections in European basketball quarters.
Speaking of international players in the draft in 2020, Killian Hayes is a name that the front office will have their eyes on. Hayes is believed by some to be the best passer in this year’s draft class. Furthermore, Hayes has the ability to stop and start at any moment and play through contact. Keen observers note his footwork comparing it to James Harden and if he continues to improve, Hayes will be a noteworthy name.
His shooting %s are only going to go up. Killian Hayes can really shoot off the dribble with a quick release #NBA #NBATwitter #NBADraft #Killianhayes #NBA2K20 #Knicks #newyorkforever pic.twitter.com/pzPE0t3qfJ
— Adam Kester (@ThePointGod___) April 19, 2020
Hayes fits the bill of a tall guard who can be a pass first point guard and to take high percentage shots. Smith believes that Karnisovas may lean with European draft prospects. This year’s draft class isn’t as great as past years have been and you can look at that from a couple different ways.
There have been top draft picks of years past that never panned out in the NBA, Eddy Curry, who was drafted by the Bulls. The pressure of knowing you could be the top pick in the NBA draft can put an immense amount of pressure to the point where it becomes too much. The other way to see it is when under the radar prospects make a great impression and that can help elevate a player’s game when that name isn’t a household name.