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Looking at the Bulls' options in the 2009 NBA Draft

by Ricky O'Donnell on June 22, 2009 at 12:01AM


BobbyStompy loves him some Kobe.

Since our tagline ends with "along with the future stars of professional sports", it's probably about time there's some NBA draft coverage here. Others on the BlogsByFans Network have been all over it for months, led by Brian and Arin. Arin is going all out, mock drafting both rounds and breaking down every team. Over at DP, Brian's got a new crush, and this year it's Steph Curry. If nothing else, he's infinitely more likable than Kevin Love (who, I have to admit, was better than I thought he'd be as a rook). Make sure you check out both those sites over the next couple of days.

Our Bulls find themselves in a weird position heading into Thursday's draft. They have two first rounders (16 and 26) and it looks like they could go in any direction. It's hard to focus on the draft though when you have more important things looming. Ben Gordon's departure seems imminent, and no matter where you fall on the 'should they keep him or let him go?' debate, make no mistake that the Bulls are definitely a worse team without him next year. Gordon has obvious, well documented flaws, but to lose one of your best players to arguably your biggest rival for nothing still stings. Especially when he's only 26.

The other matter, of course, is the Bulls' eternal quest for a low post scorer. Maybe all the positive vibes flowing through Chicago sports right now have deformed my logic, but I honestly think it could/should happen this offseason. Who knows, maybe even before the draft? 

Chris Bosh and Amare are still the two big fish, in that order. It looks like both could change places this offseason.

Bosh would just be a dream come true, and judging by these quotes from Raptors' GM Bryan Colangelo (HT: BaB, natch), it sure sounds like Bosh could go to the highest bidder. I'd love to see it happen without Noah, but if he has to go to make it work, I'd say go for it. The Bulls have been searching for a good big man for far too long, sometimes you need to give up more than you'd like to finally accomplish something (also see: Cutler, Jay). So yeah: if C-Bosh is available, go for it. With everyone and anyone not named Rose.

If a trade doesn't get done in the next couple days, the Bulls should still have some okay options in the draft. The latest rumors are that they could trade up to around 11, presumably targeting Pitt monster midget Dejaun Blair. Keeping both picks would be nice too, as they could add some young, cheap depth to a roster that has become a lot less deep since the start of last season.

Here are a few guys I wouldn't mind the Bulls taking.

At 16

PF Dejuan Blair - Pitt

blair.jpg
What's to like: He'd add another badass to a Bulls front court already loaded with them. Blair is a sick rebounder and has a decent touch around the rim. He has drawn comparisons to Utah's Paul Millsap, which is cool. His game of the year came in February at UConn when he thrashed sure-fire top three pick Hasheem Thabeet for 22 points and 17 boards.

What's not to like: Here's what made that game against Thabeet so crazy: Thabeet has nine (!) inches on Blair. Thabeet isn't eight feet tall, either. Blair is 6'6. And a power forward. So yeah, he's way undersized. He also had the highest percentage of body fat of anyone at the combine, at a civilian-like 12 percent.

SG Gerald Henderson - Duke

What's to like:
If (when) the Bulls lose Gordon, they could use a shooting guard. Henderson fits the bill. He reminds a lot of people of Richard Jefferson. He can do stuff like this:


What's not to like: Duke! (duh) Henderson's not great at 3's, either. He's a little undersized too at 6'4 or 6'5. After watching Gordon for years though, Henderson should look like Manute Bol.

bestpictureever.jpg
PF Tyler Hansbrough - North Carolina

What's to like: It sounds dumb but....he's maybe one of the greatest college basketball players of all-time. He certainly had one of the best careers of anyone I've ever seen. As Matt from BaB argued when he took him in the SB Nation mock, Hansbrough has a high floor and should be ready to go right away (which is even more important if a trade for a star big happens). He's a safe bet to be average. In a (historically?) weak draft, that's not bad for pick 16.

What's not to like:
Several things.

Douchebrough.jpg
C BJ Mullins - Ohio State

What's to like:
Taking a chance on a high upside big man with the 16th pick in a weak draft sounds like a pretty smart idea to me. According to his Twitter page, the Bulls reportedly gave Mullins a promise they'd take him at 16 if he were available.

What's not to like: Mullins was supposed to be a top three pick. He was a consensus top five (even No. 1 at many places) high school player entering college. His numbers at Ohio State were incredibly dissapointing: 9 points and four rebounds in just 20 minutes a night. If he couldn't compete in the Big 10, how is he supposed to compete in the NBA?

*

At the risk of this being 11 billion words, I'm going to cut it short here. More on the Bulls' options at 26 and, of course, my main man Ricky Rubio later in the week.

*
Quickly...

Very nice weekend for the Sox. The comeback against the Reds on Saturday might be the game of the season so far. Down 5-0 early, Gordon Beckham got the ball rolling with a three-run shot. Three others hit homers too, including....goddamn Scott Podsednik. Scotty Pods is now hitting a cool .319. Don't ask me. Beckham had a double, single, and walk in Sunday's win, too. Also on Sunday: Paul Konerko notched his 1,000th RBI and Mark Buehrle did his best Mark Buehrle impression. Next up: Dodgers then Cubs.







12 Comments | Leave a comment



While the comeback win was good, that might have been the worst display of baseball I have seen in years. There were so many errors, and even more mental errors, to think they even had a chance in that game is preposterous. Thank god Cincy's middle-relief is poor and the Sox realized Cueto only throws fastballs.

No mention of Flynn? I thought the Bulls had shown pretty heavy interest in him. Is the consensus that he probably wouldn't be around at 11 even if the Bulls did trade up? I'd be a big fan of Flynn to the Bulls.

As for the names on the list, please say no to BJ Mullens. The Bulls do not need to draft another project player. At least with a guy like Hansbrough, you pretty much know what you would be getting.

I'd prefer Blair or Henderson, though, and I have to believe if the Bulls trade up Henderson is their man.

Regarding Blair's physical attributes, the wingspan does plenty to make up for what he lacks in height. I've also read that he's lost forty pounds (forty!) since the end of the college season. Can that be right?

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=12809

I love Johnny Flynn but I don't see how he makes sense for the Bulls. He's only six feet tall, and he's gotta play point guard (he' not a great shooter like Gordon). Rose will probably be playing 40 mins a night for the next 10 years, so they likely won't want to use their first round pick on a backup PG. I'm pretty sure he'll be gone by 11 anyway.

Blair's wingspan is what makes him an NBA player. Good job on pointing that out. He's the guy I'd like to see them take, followed by Henderson.

I don't know. I kind of like the idea of having a talented point guard like Flynn so they can play Rose off the ball a bit, especially because in all likelihood, Gordon will be gone, so Rose will have to carry a bit more of the offensive load. It's definitely not the primary concern, but if he's hanging around at 11, that likely means he's the best player left on the board, and the Bulls are kind of in a position where they can go best available. Back court size does become a legitimate concern in those lineups, though.

As weak as this draft is, I'd be very pleased with Henderson, Blair, or Flynn, considering the Bulls position in the draft and the roster they already have in place.

Also, I know nbadraft.net is essentially garbage, but they have the Bulls taking James Johnson at 16. I know next to nothing about him. For the sake of discussion, how would he look as the Bulls first pick, and how would he fit into the Bulls plans? From what I can gather, he seems to have solid potential as an offensive player, but not quite so good on defense. Draft Express has him going 22 to the Mavs, though, so maybe he falls somewhere in between the Bulls two picks.

Yeah, I don't know too much about him either other than what I've read at DX and draft.net. Seems like a 3-4 combo who, like you said, has some offensive potential. Ryan Gomes seems to be the comparison thrown out a lot.

If nothing else, we know he can dunk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB4lTCAE5Fo

Boston tried to trade Allen to the Pistons. I'd like to see the Bulls sign and trade Gordon one of there picks and another player to make the money work for Allen and his expiring contract. The guy could help the Bulls more next year than Gordon could plus it gives them some relief to go after a big fish in free agency next year.

I don't know, I'm still not sold on DeJuan Blair.

I guess I feel like a player like Jon Brockman or Demarre Carroll will be just as good as Blair...and a lot cheaper too.

Great article, I think you covered everything there. . . I would say freelancing is quite hard especially if you are not used to working on your own, can be quite hard to motivate yourself also. . . we all know what it is like to stare at the monitor.

There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration.I read and understand the entire article and I really enjoyed it to be honest.

I wanted to drop you a quick note to express my thanks. I’ve been following your blog for a month or so and have picked up a ton of good information as well as enjoyed the way you’ve structured your site.

Are you a sports fan? Me too, which team do you like, do you want to find your favorite team's jerseys ?

Love the bulls ever since the NBA began.


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