Although Derrick Rose was able to carry much of the offensive load en route to 62 regular-season victories, his heroics could only carry the Bulls so far.
They need help.
If they elect to restock through the draft, here are some prospects who should intrigue Chicago’s front office, owners of the 28th, 30th, and 44th selections in this NBA’s Draft.
Marshon Brooks – SG - Providence Adding the second leading scorer in the nation couldn’t hurt a Bulls team desperate for offense. A pure scoring shooting guard at 6 foot 5, Brooks averaged 24.6 ppg in his senior campaign (dropping 43 on Georgetown and 52 on Notre Dame). He can score in a variety of ways, and thanks to his freakish 7 foot 1 wingspan finds no trouble finishing at the rim. But what makes Brooks so potent is his ability to create separation off dribble hesitation. Considering this draft’s weak crop of shooting guards combined with his rising draft stock, don’t be surprised if Brooks is long gone by the time the Bulls are on the clock with the 28th selection. That said, I give Gar Forman my full endorsement to trade up for this dynamic scorer out of Providence.
Travis Leslie – G/F – Georgia Notorious for his highlight reel dunks (best illustrated in a game last year against Kentucky), Leslie just may be the most explosive player in this year’s draft class. Being such a physical specimen makes him a force to be reckoned with when going toward the basket. His tremendous athleticism allows him to play above the rim, where he often finishes strong drives with thunderous throw downs. He also has a knack for slamming back offensive boards. At 6 foot 4, Leslie can be described as a small forward in an undersized two-guard’s body. His shooting still has a long way to go, but there’s no doubt he can take the ball to the rack and finish. Thibodeau should also see a lot of defensive potential in this athletically gifted guard.
Nolan Smith – G - Duke An all-around contributor in the backcourt, Smith can handle the rock, hit an open look, and defend. At 6 foot 2, Smith may not be the tall shooting guard the Bulls are looking for, but he did average over 20 ppg his senior season. A true combo-guard, Smith’s ability to defend both ones and twos would allow him to play alongside Rose. He could also handle minutes at point while Rose is on the bench getting rest. And we all know how much John Paxson loves his players from winning programs (Deng and Noah to name a few).
Bojan Bogdanovic – G/F – Croatia One of the top scorers in the Eurloleague (at 22 ppg), Bogdanovic has proven ready to contribute to an NBA roster. At 6 foot 7, he possesses the range and ball-handling ability to play either guard (alongside Rose) or small forward (backing up Deng). Bogdanovic will likely stay in Europe for a couple more seasons, but the investment should pay off down the road (à la Omer Asik). This would be more of a luxury pick for the Bulls, but owning both the 28th and 30th picks gives them that type of flexibility.