The Bulls are projected to select Oklahoma guard Trae Young with the eighth overall pick in the latest NBA mock draft from ESPN. The draft order is based on the current lottery odds, where the Bulls are slotted eighth, so it’s still possible they could vault into the top three if the ping pong balls bounce their way.
Young would be a fascinating addition by the Bulls given the show he put on at Oklahoma this season. The sharpshooting guard led the Sooners to the NCAA Tournament by averaging 27.4 points, 8.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. He announced his decision to leave school for the 2018 NBA Draft Tuesday.
OU’s entire offense revolved around Young, something that became obvious in its first-round loss to Rhode Island in March Madness. He averaged over 19 shots and eight free throws per game as a freshman, posting one of the 10 highest usage rates (37.1 percent) by any college basketball player since 2009-10, according to Sports-Reference.
That dominant offensive game hints at Young’s upside as a scorer and creator in the NBA, which is why he’s considered such a prime prospect despite questions about his shot selection and defense. If he can polish up the rough parts of his game and become a better decision-maker while remaining such a dangerous shooter, he has the potential to be a star.
The Bulls already have a pair of young guards to build around in Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, but Young would give them a high-upside scorer who could potentially become a franchise cornerstone. The idea of him and Lauri Markkanen firing threes from all around the court is undeniably fun.
This year’s NBA Draft isn’t until June 21 at Barclays Center, so the Bulls have three months to figure out when they’ll pick and who they’ll pick. The flashy scorer out of Oklahoma seems like a possibility at this point.