John Paxson confident Bulls will get a good player with the 7th overall pick
Darius Garland, Coby White, Jarrett Culver and Cam Reddish are players to watch at No. 7.
John Paxson showed up to work Wednesday.
He did some radio spots, conducted the business of being Bulls vice president of basketball operations and started focusing on how the franchise wants to approach the June 20 draft after the picking order was established Tuesday.
This is the part of the season, Paxson insisted, “when things get fun.’’
It was the same routine Thursday and Friday.
The idea that the longtime front-office executive would somehow be curled up in the fetal position after slipping to No. 7 in the draft despite finishing with the fourth-worst record just wasn’t the case.
Does Paxson have a concrete plan to execute over the next five weeks? Absolutely not. Few teams do at this point because of the uncertainty throughout the league.
But Paxson definitely sounded confident that he’ll get there.
“Again, we’re going to add another good player in this draft,’’ Paxson said. “We’re going to try to spend some money in free agency. We add some vets that help our team . . . so get over the disappointment quickly because we have a lot of work to do.’’
Starting with the individual workouts for draft prospects.
Sitting at No. 7, these workouts will differ significantly from the ones held by the teams with top-three picks.
The Bulls’ scouting department — led by general manager Gar Forman — must leave no stone unturned.
Vanderbilt — 6-3
Why he works: The Bulls need a point guard, and he’s the best available not named Ja Morant. He has great ballhandling skills, can shoot and has some serious Kemba Walker to his game.
Why he doesn’t: He only played a handful of games because of a knee issue, and his ball security always has been spotty. Garland tends to be shoot-first, assist-second, which isn’t ideal for what the Bulls want.
Will he be there at No. 7? Unlikely. Even if he makes it out of the top five, point-guard-starved Phoenix is sitting at No. 6.
North Carolina — 6-5
Why he works: White can make shots and is elusive in the open court, and he has size. He also can play off the ball when Zach LaVine is running the point.
Why he doesn’t: His defense is untested, and, like Garland, there weren’t enough moments in which he showed great court vision and playmaking skills.
Will he be there at No. 7? Likely. Unless he really impresses someone in a private workout or Garland slips up, White is in Bulls territory.
Texas Tech — 6-6
Why he works: Because of his ballhandling, Culver can play either backcourt spot, and he has the size and versatility to guard one through three. He also displayed an uncanny scoring ability.
Why he doesn’t: He’s a streaky outside shooter and doesn’t explode off the dribble. More important, he’s not exactly a fit for the Bulls with Zach LaVine able to handle both backcourt spots.
Will he be there at No. 7? Unlikely. Culver could go as high as No. 4 if he impresses in workouts.
Duke — 6-9
Why he works: He’s long, a willing defender and arrived in Durham with one of the better-looking outside strokes in the entire freshman class. The Bulls always could use more shooting and defense.
Why he doesn’t: Reddish was a huge disappointment, disappearing far too often, especially in big moments. Was it because of the star power of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett or is he a low-motor guy?
Will he be there at No. 7? Likely, and this is a guy who definitely needs to be looked at closely in the private workouts. Is he a steal or a fraud?