Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Bulls of the future...

The Lakers are NBA champions, and it's time for the other teams to rebuild through the NBA draft.

That includes the Bulls, who have the 17th pick in this year's draft (thanks to the trade that John Salmons to Milwaukee), which is set for tonight. They could move up to 15th if the Bucks take that option as part of that trade, but let's assume they stay at 17.

Who do they pick? Much of that will depend on how seriously they want to pursue LeBron James and any other big band free agent out there. Chris Bosh of Toronto, Dwyane Wade of Miami and Joe Johnson of Atlanta are some of the other prizes out there.

The Bulls' big needs could be at forward or a shooting guard to best compliment point guard Derrick Rose. And the decision will have to be made without the benefit of knowing whether they have landed King James, who doesn't officially go on the free agent market until July 1.

Some of the mock drafts have some intriguing directions for the Bulls.

-- The Sports Network's John McMullen thinks the Bulls will go best player available and take Texas' small forward Damion James. James is one of the few seniors in the draft, but brings some good rebounding and defense, always good attributes for a Chicago team that has had trouble in those areas at times.

-- HoopsHype has another Longhorn, this time freshman shooting guard Avery Bradley, going to Chicago. Bradley is a good defender despite being only 6-3, and has improved his three-point shooting. However, he is only a freshman, and very raw. (Yes, I know Derrick Rose was only a freshman when he came out, but he was also a number one pick and a rare talent, not falling to 17.)

-- Bleacher Report has the Bulls going with Lithuanian 7-foot power forward Donatas Motiejunas. Big men are always a good thing, and Motiejunas has good range for such a tall guy. A scorer is good, but can he rebound?

-- also has a big man coming to Chicago in Marshall freshman center Hassan Whiteside. He's a big defender, averaging 4.4 blocks a game his only year in college. The scary part is the same predictor compares him to Tyson Chandler, which did not work out so well for the Bulls.

Who should the Bulls go with? I like Damion James because of his size and defense, but Motiejunas could be a good project if LeBron James does indeed come to Chicago.

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