Here's what the Bulls should do in 2011 NBA Draft
BY DAN CAHILL | AFTERNOON SPORTS CLUB June 23, 2011 2:02PM
Marshon Brooks is exactly what the Bulls need—a shooting guard who can create off the dribble and take pressure off of Derrick Rose. | AP
Updated: June 23, 2011 4:40PM
What do Beno Udrih, Maciej Lampe, Ian Mahinmi, Joel Freeland, Tiago Splitter, Petteri Koponen, J.R. Giddens and Christian Eyenga have in common?
Those are all actual names of players taken in the past 10 NBA drafts at No. 28 or No. 30, the same first-round positions the Bulls will have tonight in the 2011 NBA Draft (6 p.m., ESPN).
First a little history lesson, before I offer the Bulls my draft advice.
The 2000 draft is widely considered the worst of the new millennium. Kenyon Martin was the top pick. The best player was probably Jamal Crawford (8), who later came to the Bulls. The Bulls took Marcus Fizer with the fourth pick, then A.J. Guyton, Jake Voskuhl and Khalid El-Amin with picks 32-34. Ugh. Eddie House (37) and Michael Redd (43) were chosen later.
The 2001 draft produced Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry for the Bulls, along with Trenton Hassell at No. 29. The 28th and 30th picks that year: Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas. Ouch.
The 2002 draft was almost as bad as 2000. Amare Stoudemire (9) was only proven star in the first round, if you discount the injury-riddled career of top pick Yao Ming. Dan Dickau and Roger Mason (Bulls) were the 28th and 30th picks. The second best player of the draft might have been Carlos Boozer at No. 34.
The Miami Thrice draft of 2003—LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade—is clearly the best since 2000, but not particularly deep. The Bulls took Kirk Hinrich at No. 7 . The 28th pick produced Leandro Barbosa (Spurs). Two current Bulls went later in the second round: Keith Bogans (43) and Kyle Korver (51).
Many thought the Bulls might have stretched, taking Ben Gordon with the third pick of the 2004 draft, but the undersized UConn guard led the franchise in scoring for four consecutive seasons. Chris Duhon (38) was a good find in the second round.
The deepest draft of recent vintage was 2005: Andrew Bogut, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Andrew Bynum and Danny Granger. David Lee was taken with the 30th pick. Brandon Bass, Ronny Turiaf, Monta Ellis and Ryan Gomes were all second-round gems. Whom did the Bulls draft that year? Go figure … nobody.
The 2006 draft was another stinker, both overall and for the Bulls. The Bulls nearly made up for the draft void of 2005 by taking LaMarcus Aldridge at No 2 … until they traded him for Tyrus Thomas and Victor Khryapa.
In 2007, the Bulls nailed it taking Joakim Noah with the ninth pick. Next to Kevin Durant, Noah might be the most impactful player from that draft. Only two significant players slipped to the second round: Carl Landy (31) and Glen “Baby” Davis (35).
The 2008 draft brought Derrick Rose. Enough said.
Interestingly, had Rose gone four years to college, this would be his draft. A quick glance at the Top 100 high school players from his year reveals that most of the top players—Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, James Harden— are already making significant contributions in the NBA. It’s the leftovers from 2007—Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Demetri McCamey—that are in this less-than-attractive draft.
The Bulls continued their draft success in 2009, finding Taj Gibson at No. 26. That offset the selection of James Johnson at 16.
In 2010, the Bulls traded their No. 16 pick (Kevin Seraphin) along with Kirk Hinrich to the Washington Wizards.
So, what should the Bulls do in this draft?
First, you need to understand this draft is AWFUL. Unless Enes Kanter becomes the next Dwight Howard, it might end up being the worst in 30 years. I’m not even sure about Kyrie Irving’s prospects. So, does that mean some great player could fall to the Bulls? Maybe, maybe not. It’s a real crapshoot, but history shows it’s less likely to happen in weak drafts.
It doesn’t make sense for the Bulls to mortgage the farm to move up into the lottery, but it might behoove them to package Nos. 28 and 30 for something in the 15-20 range.
I see two players in that area who could help the Bulls: Marshon Brooks and Kenneth Faried.
Brooks would be the perfect shooting guard complement to Rose. He can knock down jumpers, but more importantly, he can create off the dribble, something no one else besides Rose can do. He improved each year at Providence and was second in the nation in scoring last year behind Jimmer Fredette. Brooks is much longer than his 6-6 frame, sporting a 7-1 wingspan. If I’m Gar Forman, he’s my primary target. But they’ll have to move up to get him.
Faried is a combination of Noah and Gibson—high energy and long. While the Bulls seem set with bigs, I wouldn’t pass on him. You can never have enough. Along with Brooks, he’s the only player deep in this draft that I see making any significant contributions in the Association. At 6-8, some experts see the Morehead State product as undersized, but he makes up for it with his aggressiveness and 7-foot wingspan. How do you think Thibs would like a defensive frontline of Noah, Gibson and Faried?
Trade up for Brooks or Faried—that’s my advice.