The NBA lottery is set to happen May 14th leaving Bulls, Knicks, Suns, Cavaliers, and Hawks fans anxiously waiting to see where they land. The top three prospects to be selected are likely set with Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J Barrett the heavy favorites.
Chicago has a 12.5 percent chance of landing the number one pick and finished with the fourth worst record in the NBA. In a relatively weak draft class, there are some nice pieces the Bulls should focus on if they land outside of a top three selection.
So who should Chicago select if they receive the fourth overall pick?
It’s no secret that the Bulls are in need of an upgrade at the point guard position. With positions 2-5 set, Chicago needs a guard that can match the level of play that the rest of the starting lineup plays with. Kris Dunn is a solid basketball player but not an ideal starter in the league and certainly not for this team.
That’s where Darius Garland comes in. He was featured in only four games for Vanderbilt before tearing his meniscus two minutes into his fifth game. Vanderbilt was 4-0 while Garland was playing and went on to win only five more games after his injury, showing how important he is.
He averaged 16.2 points 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field and 47 percent from three. In a small sample, Garland displayed his incredible shot-making ability and off-ball skills which bodes well in a backcourt featuring Zach LaVine.
The former Commodore’s ability to knock down outside shots would make Chicago’s backcourt deadly and his willingness to play off the ball completes this team. LaVine loves taking the ball at times so it works out nicely. He’s a downgrade from Dunn on the defensive side but that’s a risk Chicago should take to make this offense run as freely as it should.
Jarret Culver is a nice piece the Bull should consider to create more depth to a roster severely lacking it. A 6’5″ shooting guard from Texas Tech could have a great impact off the bench. Remember last year, when the Bulls starting lineup was on and off the court and some nights the team featured G-League call ups?I try to forget it. It’s essential for the Bulls to create depth on the bench. All great teams can go as deep as a nine-man rotation and still be successful.
Culver averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Shooting in the mid-’40s from the field, this kid has shown great ability to get into the lane and the confidence to pull the trigger with the game on the line. His length and versatility will earn him minutes on the NBA court and his improved shot-making, in his sophomore season, will allow him to be a valuable contributor to Chicago off the bench. Selecting Culver would move the Bulls another step in the right direction.
A sophomore from Virginia, De’Andre Hunter, led his team to victory against the aforementioned mentioned Jarrett Culver. Hunter was named NABC Defensive Player of the Year and held Culver to 15 points and 22 percent shooting from the field in the National Championship game.
Getting comparisons like Kawhi Leonard are a little outlandish, but there are some similarities. His length and incredibly huge hands make him a high-level defender with an NBA frame, with much upside on the offensive end. He can score through contact and is an efficient shooter from the field and from three. Hunter has a feel for the game and understands when to slash towards the basket.
He reminds me of a Jimmy Butler type with a more polished offensive game and younger coming into the draft. Some improvements still need to happen on the offensive end but I like what I’ve seen from him thus far. He finished the season a champion and averaged 15.2 points and 5.1 rebounds with 2 assists. He’ll add wing depth to this Chicago team that most recently added Otto Porter. Hunter would come off the bench and load up on a position that the Bulls have lacked since Luol Deng.
De’Andre Hunter would allow the Bulls to play a smaller lineup at times having Lauri Markkanen at center due to his ability to guard position 1-4 as well. I like what I see from Hunter and his skill set would greatly impact a lackluster bench.
Follow Jalen on Twitter (@jalen_sherman) for more Bulls news and opinion