Chuck's Daily Check In - 06.18.19
Chuck is fired up for the draft this week and shares his opinion to what will happen around the league
The countdown is on...the offseason is underway. Congratulations to the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors but that is yesterday's news.
Bring on the 2019-20 season.
As of now, the Bulls still hold the seventh pick in the draft. Ownership and upper management and the coaching staff have pages upon pages of intel, scouting reports and analytic information to ponder over. The Bulls will draft a high level talent; a player that should be a rotation player opening night.
The Bulls can go several directions. Do they go for a guard (if one remains on the board at seven), or a defensive-minded swing player, or pull off a trade of some sort if they target a "must have" prospect.
Zion Williamson is the best player in the draft. Period. Hello, Louisiana! Buy your tickets now for Bulls and Pelicans. Expect to see a ton of NOLA ball on network TV as well. I love Ja Morant but Williamson is in a class by himself. In all probability, veteran guard Mike Conley will be wearing a different uniform next season. Morant will be a part of the new look Grizzlies as the days of the "Grind House" are all but over.
I look for the Knicks to select RJ Barrett. I think his game is tailor-made for the "new" NBA. Surround him with shooters and you'll see a dynamic offensive talent.
Then the fun starts....The Pelicans currently sit at 4. Now what? Is the slot in play? I think so. If not, look for the Pels to go for a guard.
Cavs with the fifth pick and despite the selection of Collin Sexton a year ago, don't be surprised if they take another guard in this year's draft.
Phoenix at number six needs a point guard. They've needed one for a long, long time. Or, will the Suns dangle the selection? If Darius Garland or Coby White are on the board, one will be wearing a Suns uniform next season. Garland played in only five games for Vanderbilt after sustaining a knee injury but after watching video, I am convinced he's going to be a superb player in this league for a long time.
The Bulls are then on the clock. Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
I have no idea whom the Bulls will take and over the years the front office has done an excellent job preventing leaks from occurring. As well they should. So we shall see. Just make sure and be careful with everything you read because at this point, there is a ton of misinformation being floated out there for a variety of reasons.
CCI NEWS AND NOTES:
Players who I am anxious to see on the big stage other than the obvious: Cam Reddish. This kid could be a big time star. Romeo Langford out of Indiana. He suffered a torn ligament in his shooting hand but was destined for the lottery. Don't sleep on him. Sekou Doumbouya. Patience is needed here but he is an athlete with a high offensive upside. Jaxson Hayes of Texas. Incredible athlete. His offensive game still needs developing but I think he's a top ten talent. I'm a big fan.
Now that Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are sidelined for much, if not all of the 2019-20 season, the NBA is up for grabs. If you've got above average talent, chances are you've got a seat at the table come mid-April. The Warriors had a phenomenal run but "Father Time" and injuries will eventually catch up to you. The Warriors have played 515 games over the past five seasons. 515!
The Lakers and Pelicans consummated a major trade that will officially go down July 6th. Anthony Davis is an elite player who is just 26 years young. If he stays healthy —-"IF" -- Davis and LeBron and a third star could carry them to the Finals next season. On the flip side, I absolutely love what NOLA Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin came away with. The Pelicans were fortunate to win the Zion lottery and can build around him and do it the right way instead of a rushed" win now" mode that on more than one occasion back fires. The hiring of Griffin, along with winning the lottery and trading a disgruntled star player for young stars and future picks, has only boosted and enhanced the New Orleans foundation. Better days are ahead.
Q: Will the Bulls make the playoffs?
A: I learned my lesson a year ago. Let's take a deep breath and see how the team develops and of course, health is at the top of the list.
Q: What's the Bulls biggest need?
A: Honestly, I learned a lot observing the late-great Jim Finks, the mastermind behind the Bears success in the 80s. He drafted the best player available. No matter the position he was all about talent and assets. So there's my answer.
Q: Going in to the 2019-20 season how do you size up the Bulls?
A: The Bulls will beef up their bench with veteran players and continue to develop the young talent. Obviously, the Bulls need to have their better players on the floor on a consistent basis. For the Bulls to win, they have to remain relatively healthy. One can say that about every team but in the case of the Bulls it's imperative LaVine, Markkanen, Carter and Porter grow and sustain longevity in the process. The additions to the coaching staff will benefit a young club.
Q: Why is there so much drama in the NBA?
A: Simply put: Any time you have mega stars who become free agents or notify their respective teams they want out, it becomes a social media tsunami . Since opening night, how many times have we read stories surrounding KD, Irving, Kawhi, Davis, etc. It was non stop, 24-7. It overshadows the game itself which is unfortunate but it's not going away.
Q: It was a small sample size but what are your thoughts on Carter Jr.?
A: I like the fact he can to run the floor. I like his shot blocking ability. I think he will become more aggressive offensively but that will come with time. I like his make up and his love of the game.
Q: The All Star Game is in Chicago this season. How many Bulls will be playing on the big stage Sunday night?
A: I think both Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen have a wonderful opportunity to rep Chicago. Both are on the cusp of reaching that level but again, health is a factor. It will also help if the Bulls are winning!
Join us Thursday night. I'll be anchoring out coverage on 670 The Score on line at 6PM with tons of Score reporters and Bill and Steve at the Advocate as well. Join us online at 670thescore.com.
I still get fired up for the draft as I did when I was a kid. The draft in those days was held in late morning/early afternoon. No one loves his/her job more than I do. I am a lifer and want to call Bulls ball until they wheel me out. That's how much I love doing this. It's a passion. It's about joy. It's about a connection with our Bulls fan base. Let's get ready for 2019-20!
Always a pleasure and Go Bulls!