A Bulls-centric post-lottery mock draft
Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery provided more suspicious good luck for the Cleveland Cavaliers. There’s no way they can screw up this one, right?
Anyway, here’s an early mock draft, knowing plenty could change before June 26.
1. Cleveland – Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
He still has the most star potential in this class and will fit in great with last year’s No. 1, Anthony Bennett. Just kidding about that last part.
2. Milwaukee – Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
First-round centers haven’t worked out very well since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, so look for the Bucks to pick Parker.
3. Philadelphia – Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Embiid is the obvious pick here, but what about Nerlens Noel, who’s been out longer than Derrick Rose? The Sixers have plenty of team-building ahead.
4. Orlando – Dante Exum, PG, Australia
Exum and Victor Oladipo should make an interesting backcourt.
5. Utah – Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
If nothing else, he should make Derrick Favors work harder in practice.
6. Boston – Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton
Sports Illustrated compared him to Larry Bird, so the Celtics should be a perfect fit.
7. L.A. Lakers – Noah Vonleh, C/PF, Indiana
He couldn’t lead the Hoosiers into the postseason, but maybe the big-handed Vonleh can help Kobe Bryant restore the Lakers’ glory.
8. Sacramento – Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
The Kings might have to invest in some anger management consultants, but Smart and DeMarcus Cousins could make a nice combo.
9. Charlotte – Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
If he pans out, the Bobcats would have a nice complement for Al Jefferson.
10. Philadelphia – Dario Saric, SF, Cibona Zagreb
The 6-10 Saric has been tearing up the Adriatic League as a teenager, billed as another versatile Euro big man.
11. Denver – James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky
Maybe Young can fill the shoes of Andre Iguodala, while bringing a more consistent outside shot.
12. Orlando – Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
The Magic might need help on the front line after picking Oladipo and Exum. Or maybe it needs a true point guard. Hard to say.
13. Minnesota – Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
Hard to ignore this guy’s star potential, even with the thin frame and raw skills.
14. Phoenix – Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Three-point shooting is important to survive in the high-scoring Western Conference.
15. Atlanta – Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
Two-way shooting guard should be able to help Hawks.
16. Bulls – Glenn Robinson III, SF. Michigan
The Bulls need shooting, and probably wouldn’t pass on Stauskas or LaVine. But if those guys are gone, the Bulls tend to go for athletic players who can become strong defenders. There are probably three guys who fall into the category of hyper-athletic wings who could be available here – Robinson, Clemson’s 6-6 K.J. McDaniels and Syracuse’s 6-8 Jerami Grant.
Of the three, Robinson probably has the best perimeter offensive skills. McDaniels has the most speed and Grant, with a 7-2 wingspan, has the chance to be a rim protector. Grant didn’t do the athletic tests at the predraft camp, while Robinson stood out with a 41.5-inch max vertical. Grant is the son of Harvey, nephew of Horace.
17. Boston – Rodney Hood, SF, Duke
Shot 42 percent from 3-point land last season, but went 2 for 10 vs. Mercer.
18. Phoenix – Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
A big athletic guy who can shoot. Who could argue with that?
19. Bulls – Mitch McGary, PF/C, Michigan
Most mock drafts have him going lower, but look at it this way: McGary might have been a lottery pick had he not suffered a back injury this season or if he stayed in school next season. He’s an active, energetic guy who will do the dirty work, pound the offensive glass and will probably get better offensively in time. Sure sounds like the Bulls kind of player.
They could go in several directions. For a shooter, North Carolina/Texas Legends shooting guard P.J. Hairston is probably the best available. Backup point guard is a consideration, but not sure Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier is enough of a floor general to fit with the Bulls and Louisiana Lafayette’s Elfrid Payton is a horrid shooter.
Doubt if the Bulls take a flyer on a European big man here, although there are several candidates. If the Bulls keep their draft picks, they’ll probably expect both to have a role as rookies.
20-plus: We’ll worry about those later.
Here’s a plug for Draft Express, which has a mock draft featuring scouting videos of most potential draft picks. Very cool: