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Rounding up Bulls picks in 2018 NBA mock drafts after the lottery

Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr. and Missouri wing Michael Porter Jr. are among popular picks for the Bulls in NBA mock drafts coming out after the lottery. There’s still over a month until the selections will actually be announced in Brooklyn, but coverage kicks into overdrive now that the order has been locked in.

Pretty much every major sports outlet releases mock drafts, so there’s been a lot of speculation on what the Bulls will do with the No. 7 overall pick. The team won’t be able to land a premier prospect like DeAndre Ayton or Luka Doncic in that spot. Instead, it’ll be looking at a lower tier of prospects, which includes the likes of Porter, Carter, Texas shot blocker Mohamed Bamba and others.

The Bulls have the beginnings of a foundation in Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, the trio acquired last year in the Jimmy Butler trade. They also have the No. 22 pick in this year’s draft thanks to the deal that sent Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans. But hitting big on the No. 7 pick a year after doing so on Markkanen would go a long way toward pushing the Bulls back to contention sooner than later.

The one thing pretty much everyone is projecting for the Bulls is a frontcourt player. None of them are sending Oklahoma’s Trae Young or Alabama’s Collin Sexton to the Bulls, which makes sense given the presence of Dunn and LaVine. The team’s biggest long-term needs are in the frontcourt next to Markkanen, and all of the mock drafts project them to try to address that.

Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter Jr. could be on the board for the Bulls at No. 7. | Jeff Roberson/AP Photo

The Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley and six other mock drafts project Porter as the Bulls’ pick. He missed most of his lone year at Missouri due to a back injury, which doomed his chances of becoming the No. 1 pick, but he could be a “steal” if he falls to No. 7.

Other popular picks are Bamba and Carter, a pair of high-upside big men who could ease into minutes at center while Robin Lopez holds down the fort. Carter fell under the radar a bit at Duke while Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen played starring roles. Bamba brings tons of defensive potential with his length and athleticism.

“Small forward is a definite position of need, but Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis are entering the final year of their contracts, so it also makes sense to think about drafting a big man who complements Lauri Markkanen on both ends of the floor,” ESPN wrote in projecting Carter as the pick.

Here’s a breakdown of who the Bulls pick in post-lottery mock drafts from a number of sources.

Player Number of selections
SF Michael Porter Jr., Missouri 7
C Wendell Carter Jr., Duke 7
C Mohamed Bamba, Texas 5
SF Mikal Bridges, Villanova 3
SF Miles Bridges, Michigan State 1

CBS Sports: Bamba
ESPN: Carter Jr.
The Ringer: Miles Bridges
Sports Illustrated: Porter Jr.
SB Nation: Bamba
Bleacher Report: Mikal Bridges
USA Today: Carter Jr.
NBC Sports: Carter Jr.
Sporting News: Carter Jr.
New York PostCarter Jr.
The AthleticPorter Jr.
Washington PostPorter Jr.
Chicago Sun-TimesPorter Jr.
Yahoo! SportsPorter Jr.
Cleveland.com: Porter Jr.
Basketball Insiders: Bamba (3); Carter Jr. (1)
Uproxx: Mikal Bridges
The Big Lead: Porter Jr.
NBC Sports Chicago: Mikal Bridges
Bulls.com: Carter Jr.