What should the Bulls do with the Pelicans' first round pick?
Hello Bulls fans,
As we are all well aware the Chicago Bulls have two first round picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. I’ve discussed the possibilities of what can happen with the first of these two picks, but have not yet gone into detail about how the second pick, courtesy of the New Orleans Pelicans, can be utilized. It is very important that the Chicago Bulls hit on both of these picks in this draft to expedite the rebuild process with quality, high-upside players.
There’s no telling how things will shape out in the Western Conference but as of right now the Pelicans' pick sits at 18th overall, and can move anywhere from 14th up to the twenties. The Pelicans have lost four in a row, and are in competition with the Denver Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the West, but their remaining schedule is mostly against lottery teams.
In the event the Pelicans do miss the playoffs, the Bulls will have some pretty good players to look at. Alabama PG Collin Sexton is a very interesting prospect. He has excellent burst and is dynamic in transition, and doesn’t need a ball screen to get to the rim. He is very explosive in space and would fit well in Fred Hoiberg's uptempo offense. Both Sexton and incumbent PG Kris Dunn both get after it defensively and would be fun to watch them battle for the starting job in camp.
If the Bulls are fortunate enough to grab a Mo Bamba, Marvin Bagley, or DeAndre Ayton with their first pick, then small forward suddenly becomes a position of need. Enter Kevin Knox, a combo forward from Kentucky into the mix. He’s 6’9 with a 11.5 wingspan and wide shoulders than can fill out in the NBA. He’s a multi-positional defender and can make shots with and space. Players that aren’t ball dominant will greatly benefit from this system and it will also take pressure off them to perform. There has no official word on if Knox will stay in college or skip his sophomore campaign to join the NBA. A decision will be made by this Friday.
The worst possible scenario is the Pelicans moving up in seeding, which would send that pick down to the late teens or early twenties. One of the players who could get a look late in the first is Villanova PG Jalen Brunson. I know I’m beating a dead horse when I say Kris Dunn needs a back up point guard to relieve him, but Jerian Grant doesn’t cut it. You need player who can keep things moving and has basketball IQ. Brunson can read the defense and make the right plays.
Ultimately the direction we elect to go with this pick depends on how these next couple of weeks go. I will have a better idea about what positional players make the most sense by where we are sitting. We can go from finding potential starters to adding in serviceable back ups or “camp bodies” to add competition.