So wise guy—and gals—what would you do?
The NBA draft is Thursday, the Bulls have the No. 7 selection, and it's not so easy.
Having Nos. 1 or 2 would have made it a lot less complicated. Probably No. 3 also as Duke's Zion Williamson, Murray State's Ja Morant and Duke's R.J. Barrett seemingly will be the first three picks in the draft.
Then the mystery begins because the New Orleans Pelicans now have the No. 4 selection because of the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers. The consensus has been Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland was becoming something of the consensus No. 4 selection. With the Pelicans obtaining point guard Lonzo Ball in the trade, New Orleans is said to believe it's backcourt is set with Ball and Jrue Holiday. So the No. 4 pick is likely to be the highest draft pick available in trade. And given so many teams, presumably including the Bulls, are said to have interest in landing a top point guard prospect, there could be substantial trade interest and an auction. What would the Pelicans want? We're going to find out during these next few days.
If Garland, indeed, becomes the No. 4 pick, then it becomes uncertain who would both be available to the Bulls, who would make sense for them, who they'd be interested in and whom they should select.
So why don't the fans take a chance at it?
I've asked the Bulls to set up a poll for whom the fans believe the Bulls should select with the No. 7 pick. We're also going to collect responses and publish many later in the week. Contact me at email@example.com or through the poll. So make your pick in the pool below and email me a good reason why. If Garland slips to No. 7, I assume the Bulls select him because he's generally regarded as the second best point guard in the draft after Morant. Of course, that's if his medical report is positive since he missed most of last season with a knee injury. But if he is cleared, he projects closest to Chris Paul as a highly skilled, efficient, effective ball handling and isolation guard with an excellent shot.
The Suns at No. 6 in this draft, the Magic, Pacers, Heat, Wizards and Jazz all are said to be interested in pursuing a point guard. Memphis veteran Mike Conley is considered available, though at an exceptionally high salary. The Pelicans appear to be trying to enhance their trade package that included wing player Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and draft picks this year and then mostly after 2020.
The next group of players expected to be selected in the lottery after No. 4 are shooting guard Jarrett Culver from Texas Tech, point guard Coby White from North Carolina, forward DeAndre Hunter from Virginia, forward Cam Reddish from Duke, forward Sekou Doumbouya who is playing overseas, center Jaxson Hayes from Texas and Goga Bitadze from overseas. This is the kind of draft many scouts say a player your team likes at 10 another team may rate No. 20. Or vice versa.
I believe the order through No. 6 will be:
- 1. Williamson
- 2. Morant
- 3. Barrett
- 4. Garland
- 5. Hunter
- 6. White
Though it may not be.
But if it is that would leave the Bulls a choice among Culver, Doumbouya, Reddish and Hayes. Or a risky play on someone like Bol Bol, the Oregon big man. Or perhaps one of the Gonzaga forwards like Rui Hachimura or Brandon Clarke. Nassir Little, P.J. Washington, Porter or Bitadze? In drafts like this, it is not unusual for a player taken outside the lottery to become a star given the uncertainties.
We most like to look these days at players like Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo (15), Rudy Gobert (27), Nikola Jokic (41), Draymond Green (35), Jrue Holiday (17), Tobias Harris (19), Serge Ibaka (24) and, of course, No. 30 Jimmy Butler. The mock draft top 10 isn't a guide to ultimate success.
My view at this time is that Culver is most likely to be the so called best player available when the Bulls select No. 7, assuming that is where they stay. He is a late rising versatile scorer/wing player who does fit the needs of a lot of teams with good size at 6-7 and the ability to handle the ball and make plays as a secondary ball handler. That kind of player seemingly would fit what the Bulls were attempting to do last season with different players pushing the ball out of the backcourt.
The latest consensus among the mock drafts, which are unscientific and relatively uniformed, has White the most likely choice for the Bulls at No. 7 followed by Hunter. Most of the mock drafts have Culver being selected No. 5 by the Cavaliers or No. 6 by the Suns. Of course, that is mostly media guesswork. Which, I admit, is mine as well.
So who would you select?