By Marco Radenkovich
After a tough exit in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Bulls management is back at it looking at talent for the upcoming year. We've profiled what the team needs - Shooting guard, stretch four, backup SF - but a lot has changed since the first post we wrote.
Let's look at shooting guard first. SG's that will be off the board by pick 28 are - Klay Thompson, Alec Burks and Marshon Brooks. It's not a deep 2G class. So who are the legit options for the Bulls?
SG - Charles Jenkins - SR. Hofstra
Jenkins, a four-year star at Hofstra, absolutely exploded his last two seasons. He averaged 22.6 points per game on 51.7% shooting, 42% from three and 82% from the line as a senior. The 6'3'' 220 lb New York product can score, and has the jumper that the Bulls could use. He does most of his damage by creating his own shot, but that's a product of the Hofstra offense and his competition. He has a quick first step, and creates a lot of space for shots. One thing he might lack is the explosiveness, but that's because he looks under control for the most part. Defensively, he is undersized, but at 220, he could develop the strength to help himself out.
SG/SF - Tyler Honeycutt - SO. UCLA
The first thing you notice about Honeycutt is that he has the body type of Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, that's the only thing you can compare to Durant. Honeycutt is still a little raw, but has so many tools and skills that the Bulls would be foolish to pass on him. The skill that will attract the Bulls is his defense. At 6'8'' with a long wingspan, Honeycutt can get his hand in passing lanes and helps him block shots. He led the Pac-10 in blocks this season, and rebounds really well at his position. Honeycutt has great form on his jumper, and with time and practice, he'll become more consistent. The issues come from his A/T ratio, which is 2.8 to 3.0. Also, his ball handling leaves a lot to be desired. He won't break anyone's ankles. He's more of a slasher/spot-up player than an isolation player. I think Honeycutt can contribute right away, but I think he's has a higher ceiling than Jenkins.
Now let's look at some stretch forwards. In a dream scenario, the Bulls take Honeycutt and then Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic is having a great camp, so he's probably not going to be around. So we'll look at others that the Bulls have been linked to.
PF - Justin Harper - SR. Richmond
It might be too strong to call him a poor man's Derrick Williams, but that's what he played like in college. The senior improved all four years at Richmond, and became a strong NBA prospect when he developed a consistent outside shot. Harper shot 45% from deep, while averaging 18 points per game. Harper is fluid, can handle the ball, and moves around the floor like a guard. He's been compared to Durant, but in a way that he does everything for his college team. Oh, and he's 4% body fat. I think he's being severly underrated in this draft, and if the Bulls can nab him, it would be a great pick. If Chicago loves Taj Gibson, they'll love Justin Harper.
PF - JaJuan Johnson - SR. Purdue
I wasn't a big fan of Johnson until his senior year, when him and Moore carried the Boilermakers to the tournament and to a 3-seed. He added a mid-range jumper, improved his free throw shooting, added bulk and started to take over games. He's similar to Taj in that you don't throw it to him in the post, but he can spread the floor. Defensively, he's a lot like Taj - he can block shots. Unlike Taj, I question Johnson's toughness. If he doesn't get more physical, he will be a liability on the glass. He's not a good enough shooter to sit on the perimeter, either. Still, he would give the Bulls another dimension.
The NBA holds the draft on June 23, 2011. Hopefully it's not filled with lockout talk like the NFL draft was this year.
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