NBA mock draft roundup: Uncertainty for Bulls with one week to go
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The only thing that seems clear about the 2018 NBA Draft with one week to go is that the Suns will probably take Arizona big man DeAndre Ayton. Otherwise, it’s uncertainty from No. 2 and beyond, which puts the Bulls in an interesting position with the seventh overall pick.
The possibility of an elite prospect like Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr. or Marvin Bagley III falling to the Bulls appears unlikely, so they’re more likely picking from the next tier of players beyond that group. A point guard such as Trae Young or Collin Sexton isn’t out of the question.
Here’s a quick look at what the latest NBA mock drafts have the Bulls doing with one week before the big night.
Washington Post: F Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
The Ringer: F Kevin Knox, Kentucky
Sports Illustrated: G Trae Young, Oklahoma
CBS Sports (Parrish): G Trae Young, Oklahoma
CBS Sports (Boone): G Collin Sexton, Alabama
The Athletic: C Wendell Carter, Duke
ESPN:G Trae Young, Oklahoma
NJ.com: F Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
Arizona Republic: F Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
NBC Sports Bay Area: C Mohamed Bamba, Texas
Uproxx: C Wendell Carter Jr. Duke
Sporting News: C Mohamed Bamba, Texas
Bleacher Report: F Michael Porter Jr.
In all, that’s four predictions for Porter, three predictions for Young, two predictions each for Bamba and Carter and one prediction each for Knox and Sexton. It’s a varied group that reflects the fact that the Bulls have so many needs and will likely pick the best player available to them.
Porter and Young are the most divisive prospects in the draft. There are real questions about how Porter might fit next to Lauri Markkanen, but he was in the mix as a possible No. 1 overall pick coming out of high school. A freshman year derailed by injury at Missouri doesn’t take away from his significant upside as a scorer.
Even though Porter recently cancelled a workout due to a strained hip, he’s reportedly rising in draft circles, however. So he may not even be on the board by the time the Bulls’ pick comes up.
Young similarly has the potential to be dynamite out of the backcourt. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony noted that he would likely need to be shielded on the defensive end early in his career, but with Kris Dunn already around, it could be a good fit.
Experts could also see the Bulls going for a big man like Bamba or Carter. One of those players might be a more natural partner for Markkanen, and if Bamba falls, it would be hard to pass up a potential rim protector like him.
Knox, a one-and-done from Kentucky, may be the most surprising name included here. Here’s how The Ringer sums him up: “A raw forward with the requisite athletic traits to be a go-to scorer if he puts it all together.” Knox averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds with the Wildcats and offers a high ceiling, particularly given he’s one of the draft’s youngest players.
The Bulls are sure to land a good prospect with the No. 7 pick, even if it would’ve been a lot better to win the lottery.
Here’s what the mocks have the Bulls doing with their second first-round pick, No. 22 overall.
Washington Post: F Robert Williams, Texas A&M
The Ringer: F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
Sports Illustrated: F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
CBS Sports (Parrish): F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
CBS Sports (Boone): G Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
The Athletic: F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
ESPN: F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
NJ.com: F Dzanan Musa, Serbia
Arizona Republic: F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
NBC Sports Bay Area: G Gary Trent Jr. Duke
Uproxx: F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
Sporting News: G Anfernee Simons, IMG Academy
Bleacher Report: F Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
That’s more than half of the picks going for Hutchison, an athletic senior forward from Boise State, and you might be wondering why. The simple answer is that Hutchison reportedly received a draft promise from some team, which led to him pulling out of the combine.
There appears to be widespread belief among mock drafters that the Bulls are that team, and it makes sense given their need on the wing and penchant for drafting experienced college players. Hutchison averaged 20 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals in his final season at Boise State.
The 2018 NBA Draft will be held next Thursday, June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.