The Chicago Bulls don’t have a lottery pick in Thursday’s 2015 NBA Draft, but they are in a position to select a rotation player for next season. The team is coming off its seventh consecutive playoff appearance, and the No.22 pick could turn out to be an important part of their roster for 2015-2016.
After winning 50 games and losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, the Bulls don’t have many glaring needs. Much of their roster will return next season, as restricted free agent Jimmy Butler is expected to re-sign with Chicago. But the team has room to improve in a few areas as they hope to reach their first NBA Finals since 1998.
Chicago had an improved offensive unit this past season, but they still struggled in certain areas. Twenty-one other teams had a better shooting percentage than the Bulls, and they need to add depth because of their injury-prone players.
It isn’t hard to predict most of the players that will be taken in the lottery, but the bottom of the first round can be much more erratic. There are often a few talented players that surprisingly slip in the draft, and Chicago could get fortunate regarding whom is still available.
Below are three players that general manager Gar Forman will likely consider drafting if they are still on the board.
Of any player that is expected to be drafted in the middle part of the first round, Grant might be the most natural fit for the Bulls. He’s the nephew of Horace Grant, who won three championships with Chicago in the early 1990’s, and he went to nearby Notre Dame. Grant is a versatile player, and considering Derrick Rose’s injury issues, drafting the combo guard could be ideal for Chicago.
Grant averaged 16.5 points and 6.7 assists for the Fighting Irish in his senior season. But he appears to be highly thought of around the NBA, and he could be long gone by the time the No.22 pick rolls around. He’s one of 19 players who have been invited to attend the draft in New York.
Frank Kaminsky got most of the attention on Wisconsin’s team that reached the national championship game last season, but Dekker played a major role in the team’s success. While Kaminsky could be a lottery pick, Dekker could slip into early 20s. Dekker has good size at 6’9, and he shot 52.5 percent from the field last year.
If Forman can't land a playmaker, hemight try to take a wing that can shoot from the perimeter. Dekker fits that bill, and he could be a reliable option with the team’s current roster.
Kelly Oubre Jr.
While Dekker and Grant spent a combined seven years in college, Oubre left Kansas after just one season. Chicago has largely drafted experienced college players in the last few years, but Oubre might have too much upside to pass up at No.22. He’s versatile as a 6’7 guard, and he made nearly 36 percent of his three-pointers in one year with the Jayhawks.
Oubre Jr. probably needs some time to develop, but his ceiling could be higher than anyone Forman has to choose from.