Bulls Draft Central 2003
New Bulls Introduced
The Bulls took Kansas guard Kirk Hinrich with the seventh overall pick in NBA Draft 2003.
(Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images)
The Bulls held a press conference at the United Center on July 1 to introduce Kirk Hinrich, Mario Austin and Tommy Smith. Click here now for photos from the conference.
The Bulls selected Kirk Hinrich, a 6-3 guard out of Kansas, with the seventh overall pick in NBA Draft 2003. Hinrich, an AP Third Team All-American selection, averaged 17.3 ppg as a senior, shooting 40.6 percent from three-point range.
“I’m just really excited; I couldn’t be happier,” Hinrich said just minutes after the Bulls selected him. “This is a dream that I’ve had all my life. I’m going to go in there with the right attitude and make it work out. I’m thrilled to death to be going to Chicago.”
Bulls EVP-Basketball Operations John Paxson was equally pleased to take Hinrich: “There are two priorities that we were looking to address for next year. We are looking to push the basketball more, which Kirk can do coming from an up-tempo system at Kansas. As a system player, in terms of our triangle offense, he’ll be a very good fit." To hear more from Paxson on his selections, click here now.
“The one thing I really like about him is that he’s a winner,” Paxson stated.
“I’m a big competitor and I’m always working hard,” Hinrich said when asked to describe his game. “I think I’m a complete player. I’ve tried to mold my game to the point where I don’t have any weaknesses and I’m an all-around player.”
In other draft action, the Bulls took 6-9, 260-pound forward Mario Austin with the 36th overall selection. Austin, who played at Mississippi State, is described as a physically strong player who averaged 15.5 ppg and 7.7 rpg in his junior year.
Later, Chicago used the 45th spot to select Matt Bonner, a 6-10, 240-pound forward who averaged 15.2 ppg and 6.1 rpg as a senior at Florida. Shortly thereafter, Bonner was traded to the Toronto Raptors for a second round pick in 2004, provided it is in the top 50 selections. If it is instead 51 or worse, the Bulls receive the Raptors’ 2005 regular season second round draft choice. The Bulls capped off the evening by taking Arizona State forward Tommy Smith with the 53rd pick in NBA Draft 2003.
Paxson says Hinrich "can attack the basket and do a lot of things that people may not give him credit for."
(Photo courtesy of KU)
With NBA Draft 2003 set for Thursday night, John Paxson met the media on Monday for one last time before his first night of calling the shots in the war room.
2003 NBA Pre-Draft Camp
Hundreds of NBA executives, general managers, coaches and scouts packed the gym at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago on June 4-6 for a few days of evaluating players in preparation for the June 26 NBA Draft. Both John Paxson and Bill Cartwright were there for the duration of the camp; below are recaps and box scores from the games played.
"I think the assumption is that we are going to do anything to get more veteran players, but you can’t do that just for the sake of doing it," Bulls GM John Paxson said the day after the Bulls learned they'd have the draft's seventh overall selection. "If there is a player in the draft there at seven who we like, I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger on him."
Tracy McGrady. Kobe Bryant. Dirk Nowitzki. Paul Pierce. Shawn Marion. Eddie Jones.
Even the Bulls' own Jalen Rose. All of the above are NBA stars, and all were drafted beyond the seventh pick. We bring this up because the Bulls drew the 7th pick in this year's NBA Draft. While some may see it as a disappointment to not get the first, second or third pick, the Bulls still have the opportunity to draft someone who could be the next great NBA player.
Draft Central 2001