The Chicago Bulls own two draft picks in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft, but both of them might be too low for them to get the kind of player they’re interested in. Rumor has it that the Bulls would like to add a shooter more than anything else, setting their sights on Gary Harris and Nik Stauskas. In order to get them, they’re willing to use those picks and trade up.
Shooting has been a problem for the Bulls, although not the biggest one. The shot only 34.8% from beyond the arc last season while making only 6.2 3-pointers a game, 26th in the NBA. For a team without their best player like Derrick Rose, not having the ability to stretch the floor and provide some sort of offensive variety was a bit too much to overcome as they lost to the Washington Wizards in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bulls are currently talking to the Denver Nuggets who have possession of the 11th overall pick in order to get either Stauskas from Michigan or Harris from Michigan State. Stauskas was a solid 44% shooter from beyond the arc in college, but isn’t just a spot up shooter and can hit shots from a variety of spots, including off the dribble, although adjusting to doing it in the NBA will probably take some time. He averaged 17.5 points per game last season.
Harris shot 41.1% from beyond the arc during his Freshman season and dropped to 35.2% as his efficiency dropped but he started becoming a more valuable piece in Izzo’s offense, averaging 16.7 points per game last season. But while shooting and adding someone who can space the floor is important to Chicago, there are other needs they might need to take care of in the draft, which could make them reconsider giving up the two first round picks.
Derrick Rose is going to need a backup point guard other than Kirk Hinrich, if he actually stays. D.J. Augustin is also hitting free agency, which means that the Bulls either looks for a slightly expensive option in the free agency market because Rose can’t be counted on to last a full season without figuring out the risk factor, or simply take who is avaialbe in the stacked draft that might not bring them an All-Star, but a solid option to come off the bench is very managable.
So who? Tyler Ennis is what most mock drafts predict. Coming out of one year with Syracuse, Ennis averaged 12.9 points and 5.5 assists during his freshman season. He is a very good defender, has size he can use on other point guards and length to be quite a bother. In terms of defense, which is important to the Bulls, he very much fits the bill. Not being a very reliable shooter is a different problem.