Whether the Chicago Bulls are going to return to championship contention soon or build for the long-term, the draft is going to be essential.
They have a roster full of young players drafted over the last few years, but other than All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, the Bulls have struggled to turn any of their picks into useful players.
With the team at risk of missing the playoffs for the second year in a row, nailing their upcoming pick will be key. Now, this report from Johnathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has revealed just who that pick might be:
With the franchise spiraling downward, the Chicago Bulls will simply be searching for talent in the draft. Need, fit or developmental timetable won’t factor into their hunt.
Justin Patton falls more on the project side, but his upside remains enticing. Athletic with 6’11” size, he’s emerged as an enormous target and easy-bucket machine at the rim, shooting 69.4 percent from the floor. He has also flashed nifty post moves, passes and ball-handling, and though he isn’t a consistent long-range shooter yet, he’s opened eyes with eight three-pointers.
Robin Lopez isn’t a long-term answer for Chicago and Nikola Mirotic, who’s headed for restricted free agency this summer, has largely fallen out of the rotation. Patton gives Chicago a new big to build around in the frontcourt.”
This prediction seems to be based on the idea that the Bulls will be tearing it down this offseason. Key free agents like Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo would walk, and Butler would be flipped for assets.
In that case, Patton sounds like an appealing pick. At the end of the day, the most important thing will be deciding on a future strategy for the roster before the draft, and picking someone who fits that vision.