Go ahead, Bulls, draft Trae Young at No. 7 … then watch rebuild crumble

SHARE Go ahead, Bulls, draft Trae Young at No. 7 … then watch rebuild crumble

“Measured shorter than his 6-2 listing . . . actually 6-¾.’’

“Compares pretty well to Steph Curry.’’

“. . . has unlimited range and seems to be a threat to make a shot as soon as he crosses halfcourt.’’

“The biggest concern is on the defensive end, and rightfully so . . . a lack of high-end athletic ability really hurts him.’’

All comments ripped right from the notebooks of scouts, and the very reason Bulls fans should be on edge with the NBA Draft finally upon us this week.

It has to be Oklahoma point guard Trae Young being described above, right?

Big nope.

These were the notes on lights-out shooter Jimmer Fredette in 2011 before he was drafted No. 10 overall by the Bucks and sent to the Kings in a draft-night trade.

What’s Fredette up to these days? Well, he tore up opposing defenses to the tune of almost 37 points per game during the 2017-18 season, turning the Chinese league upside down for the Shanghai Sharks.

So the Bulls can go ahead and spend that No. 7 pick on Young, a 6-foot deep threat.

Then watch the rebuild crumble.


Nah, call it history.

There are few point guards Young’s size who have played at a high level in the NBA. Set the bar at Calvin Murphy, Isiah Thomas and Allen Iverson, then move down from there. But Murphy, Thomas and Iverson were off-the-charts athletes with no fear.

Young doesn’t check either of those boxes.

“I think I’m a different basketball player,’’ Young said numerous times during his meeting Thursday with the media at the Advocate Center. “Just overall different type of player, scorer, team-first guy.’’

It’s a point he’s trying to sell teams on.

And it’s a smart move because if he can fool them into thinking he’s a different breed, it takes the focus off all the weaknesses in his game.

Young can shoot — and shoot from long range to change the geometry of the floor in the modern NBA. At least he could against other college kids.

His biggest strength for the Bulls, however, might be his playmaking. He’s a special passer with great vision.

But hit the stop button there and flip in the tape from Jan. 27 against elite Alabama point guard Collin Sexton. Sexton went right at Young, posting him up, attacking his dribble and holding him to 17 points on 6-for-17 shooting.

Now let’s get to the elephant in the room.

Fair or unfair, Young has been tagged with the soft label. At the end of the regular season, when Kris Dunn was discussing the possibility of the Bulls drafting another point guard, his tone varied when Young or Sexton was mentioned.

There was some respect shown toward Sexton, but not much really. As for Young, well, Dunn talked about his “dawg’’ mentality, and that “dawg’’ wanted to bite.


• After all these years, Dennis Rodman is still being called for traveling

• Trae Young makes his case to be a Bull as draft intrigue grows

The No. 7 spot is awful right now. Let’s go down the list of possibilities:

Young — He’d be a defensive liability for a Bulls team that’s already defensively challenged.

Wendell Carter — Find a Duke game in which he dominated, and it would be a first. At best, he would be Bobby Portis after a case of donuts.

Mikal Bridges — He might not be the mentally tough player he claims to be after his workout with the Bulls.

There are two logical choices: Hope Michael Porter Jr. falls or attempt to trade up to grab Marvin Bagley III or Jaren Jackson, even if it means packaging multiple picks this year and a future pick.

As for Young, he actually might be great down the road.

And the Shanghai Sharks will be waiting for that day.

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