nba draft

Bulls linked to Providence's Devin Carter in NBA Draft

NBC Universal, Inc.

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

In an NBA Draft lacking in surefire starpower, mock draft predictions are all over the place. Additionally, it’s hard to drive action when you’re currently sitting in the No. 11 slot.

Nevertheless, there is growing speculation that Providence guard Devin Carter has received assurance from some lottery team that it will draft him should he be available for its selection; i.e., the ol’ draft promise. And some of that speculation has centered on the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls have indeed spent predraft work on Carter. But that hardly narrows their efforts down; they’ve cast a wide net.

Making a promise to Carter would be a mistake for reasons that extend beyond the fact that draft promises haven’t been kind to the Bulls in the past. This has little to do with Carter as a prospect and more to do with how unpredictable a draft it is: What if a player the Bulls didn’t expect to fall to No. 11 is available?

In 2018, the Bulls selected Chandler Hutchison with the 22nd pick after indicating their interest to the Boise State forward beforehand. That’s the same draft they also drafted Wendell Carter Jr. with the seventh overall pick.

Jalen Brunson, a local product who had led Stevenson High School to a state championship and Villanova to two national championships, lasted 11 more picks, going to Dallas in the second round at No. 33. Making matters worse, Brunson would’ve loved to play for his hometown team, the one he grew up watching while admiring Derrick Rose.

So be careful what you promise. Especially because there are pros and cons to the Carter fit.

The Big East Player of the Year can play on or off the ball and projects to be able to contribute defensively even as a rookie. He did it all in his final and junior season at Providence, averaging 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals with a whopping usage rate of 28.1.

Obviously, he won’t reach that in his first NBA season, regardless of where he lands. But from dramatically improving his 3-point percentage to 37.7 percent on 6.8 attempts from the shorter collegiate shot to his finishing ability that showcases his physicality, he has solid offensive potential.

His athleticism is unquestioned; he posted a 42-inch vertical at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. That helps him play bigger than his listed height of 6 feet, 2 inches.

Plus, little that he does comes in the midrange. One longtime NBA scout told NBC Sports Chicago that Boston’s Derrick White would be the high-end comparison for his two-way talents.

On the flip side, don’t the Bulls have enough guards? And while the Bulls are in no position to draft merely on need or even roster balance and most teams use the best player available philosophy, Carter would join an extremely crowded backcourt picture.

How would his development fit alongside that of 2022 first-round pick Dalen Terry, not to even mention Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu’s continued growth?

Plus, as previously mentioned, why promise a player when this draft is so unpredictable? What if a tantalizing prospect like Ron Holland is still available? Could his potential and athleticism be more impactful?

Carter projects to have a solid NBA career. It just shouldn’t be promised this early to be in Chicago.

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