The PossiBulls will be a recurring column dedicated to the construction of the Bulls’ roster.
As the NBA draft gets closer with the added excitement of new head coach Fred Hoiberg, here is a list of players likely available at the Bulls’ spot at 22. The list includes players which make ideal fits in a position sense now, as well as long-term roster value. I do believe in taking the best player available, but positional needs include a backup PG, a SF, and a backup big in case one gets moved. I expect Doug McDermott, Tony Snell, and possibly Nikola Mirotic to compete for the starting SF spot, with Mike Dunleavy hopefully re-signed for depth. Teams always need better shooting, but I also feel the Bulls should build to beat the Cavs in the next few years. As the playoffs prove once again, matchup advantages win. I am convinced big lineups, with positional flexibility on defense to allow quicker switching, will become the easier path to success. As we saw versus the Bucks, their length really bothers offenses along the perimeter. The Warriors and Cavs currently do it even better, at least without Kyrie Irving on the floor. Big 3 and D wings are very important in today’s NBA, and a few with big potential will be available. I believe Derrick Rose should be the shortest player on the roster if possible, with his primary backup a taller combo guard not named Kirk. Shaun Livingston on the Warriors is the ideal backup PG, and has been a big reason for their success. He plays the Ron Harper role perfectly and his size allows him to play 3 spots on defense. With Jimmy Butler at SG and able to cover either wing, the Bulls could use a combo guard or small forward who can help with defense on the perimeter and playmaking. Another position to consider is a PF Or C in case one gets moved, preferably someone intimidating defensively. Luckily, there will be several options that will still be available to the Bulls.
1. PG-SG Jerian Grant 6’4 198 Notre Dame age 22
The nephew of Bull’s great Horace Grant, Jerian Grant sure deserves serious consideration should he drop in the draft. Bloodlines are a plus to me as there are several 2nd generation players finding success in the league, Kobe Bryant, the Splash Bros., several Juniors including our hopefully-on-the-cheap Mike Dunleavy. Grant played PG at Notre Dame, like John Paxson, but has the size and game to play either backcourt spot. A lefty, he runs the pick n roll very effectively as a passer or scorer. His wingspan allows him to be very active on perimeter defense and can be a bigger obstacle to most guards, a huge benefit in the trend of switching perimeter defenses. As a senior PG, Grant also has the experience the Bulls’ front office values.
Game Lookalike: A skinny Jrue Holiday-lite Cool Stats: 16.5 pts., 6.6 assists
Bread n Butter: Pick n Roll, Passing, Poise, Scoring Streaks
2. SG-SF Justin Anderson 6’6 230 Virginia age 21
A player projected around pick 22 with one of the higher ceilings is productive long range shooter Justin Anderson. Along with prototype size for a SG at a little over 6’6 and 230, Anderson is an above average athlete with transition game skills. He’s a smooth 3pt shooter with an unselfish game. He has the size to get in the paint and finish, and the potential to draw fouls. Hard working defender with a 6’11.5 wingspan! For comparison, at an inch taller, Jimmy Butler has a 6’7.5 wingspan and is a ballhawk. Mr.Anderson has the athletic gifts to be the next Bulls steal with starter potential late in the 1st round.
Game Lookalike: A sharpshooting, more athletic Aaron Afflalo Cool Stats: 45% 3pt FG, 12.2 pts
Bread n Butter: 3pt Shooting, Defense, Size, Position Versatility
3. PG-SG Delon Wright 6’5 181 Utah age 23
One of the most attractive players likely to be available is another big senior PG with scoring and pro-ready playmaking abilities. Delon Wright also has NBA bloodlines as he is the younger brother of Portland’s Dorell Wright. He had a successful senior season as the focus of each team he faced, both as a scorer and playmaker. He is very capable off picks with solid vision and passing due to his height. He is a very active defender, athletic and quick enough to cover faster guards while having a knack for blocking jump shots. Offensively, he can handle both guard spots and is a capable scorer off the dribble, with both improved shooting and shifty drives to the basket.
Game Lookalike: A passing-focus, defensive Jamal Crawford Cool Stats: 14.7 pts, 35.6% 3pt. FG
Bread n Butter: Playmaking, Defense, Size
4. SG R.J. Hunter 6’6 185 Georgia Sate age 21
Considered one of the best shooters in this draft, Hunter has excellent length for a SG, although he will need to add muscle to his frame. In the mold of skinny snipers Kyle Korver and Reggie Miller, Hunter has a quick release on his jumper and is very smooth around screens. He is a fluid if not fast-twitch athlete not afraid to get in the paint for floaters. Hunter is also a good passer and capable defender. He has shown poise in big moments while carrying his team offensively and projects as a much more efficient shooter than his 3pt percentage suggests.
Game Lookalike: potential Kyle Korver-type Cool Stats: 19.5 pts., 29.8% 3pt. FG!, 88.7 FT% Oh ok
Bread n Butter: Quick-release Shooting, Passing, Length
5. SF-PF Montrezl Harrell 6’8 250 Louisville age 21
Harrell is one those warrior types that battle for everything. A freakish athlete, his greatest impact is on the defensive side. There is no quit in him, so that ‘true grit’ is there that the Bulls need. A slightly undersized PF by default, his strength and length allow him to play big. I believe with coaching he can be valuable versus Lebron specifically due to his size, strength, and speed. He also has an improved offensive game with a midrange jumper he is confident taking. A possible Big replacement if one of them is moved, Harrell will add toughness. Although not a 3pt. shooter, Harrell is one of the best candidates in this draft to be a Draymond Green-type player.
Game Lookalike: Draymond Green without a 3pt shot but with some Kenneth Faried athleticism Cool Stats: 15.7 pts., 60% 2pt FG, 9.2 rpg.
Bread n Butter: Defense, Athleticism, Rebounding
6. PF-C Bobby Portis 6’11 246 Arkansas age 20
Portis has great size for the PF position and is capable as a stretch 4. An excellent shooter, Portis has 3pt. range and a very active offensive game. A high energy player, he runs the floor and finishes well in transition. A very good athlete, though not explosive, Portis is a solid rebounder on both ends. He is an agile defender for his size stepping out on the perimeter. Portis’ size and shooting will likely move him into the top 20.
Game Lookalike: Lamar Odom on ten cups of coffee Cool Stats: 17.5 pts., 8.9 rpg., 54% 2pt FG, 46.7% 3pt FG
Bread n Butter: Offensive game, Offensive Versatility, Rebounding, Defense
7. SG Tyler Harvey 6’4 181 Eastern Washington age 22
Possibly my favorite sleeper in this draft, I am very surprised Harvey is not projected as a 1st rounder by most mock drafts, especially as the nation’s scoring leader in 2015 at 23.1 ppg . I will not be shocked to see Harvey move up. At 22 he will be considered a reach by most, but his scoring potential is tempting enough to warrant his selection, especially in current NBA offenses. Although a SG in college, Harvey is skilled enough to handle PG or ballhandling duties for big stretches. The issue with Harvey seems to be his underwhelming physical traits. Not an explosive athlete, Harvey did show enough in the speed and agility drills to suggest his game has a chance to translate to the pro level.
Game Lookalike: A skinny Brandon Roy Cool Stats: 23.1 pts., 40.9% 3pt FG on 9.6 3pt FGA per game, 51.7% 2pt FG
Bread n Butter: 3pt Shooting, Scoring, Playmaking, Pull-up jumpers
8. C Robert Upshaw 7’0 258 Washington age 21
Upshaw is a very physically imposing legit 7footer (in shoes). His reach allows him to affect shots anywhere near the paint. He has become a good defender and shotblocker. He plays physical and can score off lobs easily while also showing some touch in the post. Upshaw has maturity issues much like Hassan Whiteside for the Heat, otherwise he’d be a lock to go higher.
Game Lookalike: Hassan Whiteside Cool Stats: 59% 2pt FG, 8.6 rpg., 4.4 Blocks
Bread n Butter: Defense, Shotblocker, Rebounding, Size
9. SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 6’7 211 Arizona age 20
Hollis-Jefferson will be ready to contribute sooner than most prospects due to his defense. An explosive athlete, he can defend most NBA wings. Plays full speed full time as he relies on effort more than polished skills. Great first step to attack the rim, and great wing rebounder. Has a habit of drawing a lot fouls with his athleticism. His defense and athletic potential will likely move him up the draft.
Game Lookalike: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Cool Stats: 11.2 pts., 6.8 rpg., 50% FG
Bread n Butter: Defense, Athleticism, Effort
10. SG Rashad Vaughn 6’5 198 18 UNLV
Another shooting option at wing, Vaughn has good size on the perimeter to become a 2-way player . At times he was asked to handle PG duties and developed decent ballhandling skills that allow him to get into the paint. He uses his strength well on defense and can cover bigger wings for stretches.
Game Lookalike: Wes Mathews Cool Stats: 18.3 pts., 38.4% 3pt FG, 49.2% 2pt FG
Bread n Butter: 3pt. Shooting, Defense, Passing
PG Tyus Jones 6’2 185 Duke age 19
PG George Lucas Alves De Paula 6’5 197 Brazil age 19
SG Michael Qualls 6’5 201 Arkansas age 21
SF Anthony Brown 6’9 211 Stanford age 22
SF-PF Jerrell Martin 6’9 235 LSU age 20
PF-C Christian Wood 6’11 216 UNLV age 19
C Dakari Johnson 6’11 1/2 265 Kentucky age 19
PF Brandon AShley 6’9 235 Arizona age 20