Archive for June 19th, 2007


9 days left

There’s only nine days left and the anticipation about what the Bulls will do with the #9 pick in the draft is growing. Assuming they don’t trade the pick away completely (which they should) it looks like they’re going to try to find a PF/C to help them right away. While that probably won’t be possible, odds are they’re still drafting BIG.

Who they’re NOT picking
al horford
The only player who could help the Bulls down low this season would be Al Horford. Unfortunately he’ll be long gone by #9.

noah . . .???
Joakim Noah could still be on the board but the Bulls likely still have too much of the taste of Tyson Chandler left in their mouths to go for him. Noah is a great prospect but the Bulls need reliable scoring in the post and he’s not going to give them that.

A guard. Paxon has claimed that he won’t necessarily go big with this pick, but that will ONLY be true if they trade it. If they do trade the pick the trade will almost certainly include Chris Duhon. Chris picked up a taste for the Chicago clubs this past season (he’s known to be partial to Spoon) and his “late” nights proved to cost him the next day. Word is he struggled significantly more than usual in practice after his nights out and Skiles and Paxon aren’t the types to tolerate that.

So if they trade Duhon they’d need another PG to add to the rotation. While they did recently work out Mike Conley Jr., that was probably more because Chicago native and fan Mike Conley Sr. asked them to than it was because they’re going to try to draft him.

From what I’m seeing they’re not going with B. or J. Wright either.

That leaves . . .

Scenario #1 – Yi Jianlian
Height: 7’0″   Age: 19? 22? Varies based on source and date

Chad Ford is saying Paxon will go with Yi if he’s still there at #9. Pax normally goes for safer picks than Yi will be. Yi remains a bit of a mystery in that little game footage of him is available and his agent has him refusing to workout against other prospects. He did grant the Bulls a solo workout in L.A., but that condition raises the question of whether he’s just a workout wonder with no real game. Unfortunately there won’t be many other attractive options for big men. Yi probably won’t make a big difference right away, but neither will anybody else available at #9. Trading up for him as some rumors have the Bulls doing would be a mistake but if he’s there they should take him at 9. Best case scenario he’s a more athletic version of Dirk Nowitzki. Worst case scenario he’s 7-footer with a mid-range jump shot.

Scenario #2 – Spencer Hawes
Height: 7’0″   Age: 19
The draft watchers are saying Hawes has the most polished post game of anyone in the draft – and the Bulls certainly need that – but they’re also saying he’s not very athletic and at 19 is a couple of years from contributing consistently. With the current roster Paxon should continue to look for athletic, defensive-oriented players who can play an up-tempo game. They shouldn’t try to be the Suns or the Warriors, but they’re not a half-court kind of team either. Hawes would be a safe pick if they can find a decent post player with the mid-level exception. The problem is there are no clear candidates for that role in free agency this summer.

Scenario #3 – Jason Smith
Height: 7’0″   Age: 21
The Bulls really liked him when they worked him out at the Berto Center. However, they’re probably not going with him unless they trade down. If both of the above guys are gone by #9 then somebody else too good to pass up will be there. They may find a team lower in draft really tring to get their hands on Yi or Noah (Warriors? Sixers? Suns?) and would give them something in return for swapping picks. If that happens I think Smith will be their guy. He doesn’t come from a big name winning program like Paxon usually likes, but he’s rising on teams draft boards quickly.

Of course all of this is assuming they keep a first round pick, and whether or not that happens depends on many factors (including one #24, do you think Tyrus would give it up?) and is a whole different post all together.

June 2007
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