The Bulls are back in the point-guard market as the draft nears
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The idea of Oklahoma guard Trae Young in a Bulls uniform has the organization smiling. Well, the business side of the organization, anyway.
Young checks all the boxes as far as the marketing and ticket-sales departments go because of the idea that someone has to be the next Stephen Curry someday.
But Young will have to impress the basketball side of the operation in his upcoming workout. As of now, the book on him is that he is too small — he was measured at 6-foot and change without shoes on at the combine — and still not ready for the physicality of the NBA.
Yes, he changes the geometry of the court because of his long-range shooting, but a source said the Bulls were more impressed with his playmaking when they scouted him.
The bigger question, however, has to be why Young is even in the discussion with the Bulls holding the No. 7 pick. He would be a defensive liability for a team that already looks allergic to defense too often, and they have a young point guard in Kris Dunn.
But multiple sources told the Sun-Times last week that the Bulls’ coaching staff and front office have been less than impressed with Dunn’s work habits so far in the offseason, a far cry from the player they acquired from the Timberwolves in the deal for Jimmy Butler on draft night 2017.
Dunn was a workout warrior last offseason, but the sources said he has been ‘‘shortcutting’’ his way through May and early June enough that the idea of the Bulls selecting a point guard in the NBA Draft on June 21 is back in play.
Whether this information is being leaked to light a fire under Dunn or because the Bulls have some legitimate concerns about him, the last thing the staff wants during the rebuild is players suddenly feeling entitled.
Shooting guard Zach LaVine needed a talking-to about that during the season, and now Dunn is getting a similar message. One source said it wasn’t a problem yet, but the Bulls want to make sure it doesn’t go in that direction.
And Young isn’t the only point guard the Bulls are eyeing, either. The idea of drafting Alabama’s Collin Sexton isn’t far-fetched, especially because of his ferocity on defense and no-fear attitude. Sexton also would help cover up LaVine’s defensive
issues when Dunn needs a breather.
Perhaps Dunn was just easing his way into his offseason workouts and will get back to himself, allowing the Bulls to address their real need — small forward — in the draft. They have the medical information on Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. (back surgery), and Villanova’s Mikal Bridges was at the Advocate Center last week for a personal workout.
The Bulls liked what they saw from Bridges in general, but there were a few questions about his mental toughness. Whether that was nerves or just a bad day at the office is for the organization to decide.