So was drafting Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague a surprise move for the Bulls?
Not really. Most of us were expecting a shooting guard, but you could have said the same thing last season when they went with small forward Jimmy Butler.
I think what the Bulls did in both cases was try to get someone who could succeed in the NBA in a specific role and not try to shoot any higher. Butler's role is defense. Teague, obviously, figures to spend most of his career as a backup point guard to Derrick Rose.
"Our philosophy is and will continue to be, if two guys are comparable and one guy can fit more of a need, then we may go that way," general manager Gar Forman said. "But we're going to go with the best talent that's available, that can fit within our system and culture."
Teague's athleticism was obviously a big selling point. Great athletes make the best NBA players. So it's easy to project him as potentially the most NBA-ready player still on the board.
Forman admitted the Bulls still have to address the point guard spot. They have to decide whether or not to pick up the option on C.J. Watson for next season at $3.7 million (probably not) or sign a veteran free agent to fill in while Rose recovers from knee surgery.
At shooting guard, the Bulls could go in a few directions, especially if they're willing to dip into luxury tax territory. They could try to sign a free agent for the mid-level exception. They could trade the non-guaranteed contracts of Watson, Kyle Korver or Ronnie Brewer for an established guy, such as O.J. Mayo, or they could simply keep Korver to go with Richard Hamilton.
One more quote of note: Forman was asked about the perception of Teague as a poor defensive player.
"We were both on the phone with coach Cal (John Calipari) today and that was one thing he stressed, that he made a lot of improvements defensively and got to the point where he was pressuring the ball and not allowing penetration," Forman said. "He's got extremely long arms (6-7 wingspan on a 6-2 frame). He's got the speed and quickness. So he's certainly got the skills to be a very good defender."