By: Robert Weihofen
Out with the old and in with the new is going to be a phrase Bulls fans can use this offseason. Players like Lopez and Holiday will most likely be on the way out, and new young faces will be on the way in.
With 16 games left, the Bulls got a warning for benching healthy players for tanking purposes. Now, players like Lopez and Holiday are getting minutes so they can avoid the penalties while still trying to improve their draft stock.
It is all about where the Bulls are going to draft, which is looking more and more like the 7th or 8th overall pick in the draft. Now, the Bulls are in need of another young playmaker to add with the core they have right now. The Bulls are sure to have their wishlist consisting of players like Marvin Bagely and Micheal Porter Jr. Even though they likely won’t see these players at their pick, it is nice to dream. Here are five players they could see, and take, with their expected 7th or 8th pick at the moment.
5. Alabama Freshman Collin Sexton
The Freshman guard is likely to declare for the draft after a solid first year for the Crimson Tide. He has lead the Tide to the Big Dance, and is putting up some impressive numbers for a school more known for Football. Sexton is averaging 19.0 PPG this year, and could be a nice addition to Hoiberg’s system that could try three guard matchups next year if they were to select Sexton.
4. Duke Freshman Wendell Carter Jr.
Another Freshman, Cater Jr. is the next standout on the team behind Bagely and Senior Guard Grayson Allen. The Power Forward could be a dynamic big-man for the Bulls who are more then likely going to see the departure of starting Center Robin Lopez via trade and possibly Bobby Portis via Free Agency. His 6-10 frame would help the post game, and adding in 13.8 PPG along with 9.3 RPG is pretty appealing as well.
3. Villanova Junior Mikal Bridges
What is becoming more rare, a Top-Ten player that is not a Freshman in Mikal Bridges. The Guard is leading the charge for the Wildcats this season with 18.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG while shooting 43% from beyond the arc. A team that has struggled with outside shooting the last few seasons, Bridges would be a welcomed addition this coming offseason.
2. Kentucky Freshman Kevin Knox
A Calipari one and done? Say it isn’t so, but Knox is another one from that mold. He is having a solid Freshman year leading into March Madness with 15.6 PPG and 5.4 RPG. His 43% shooting is going to help him on the offensive end, but with his frame his rebounding numbers could be a bit higher heading into the draft.
1. Oklahoma Freshman Trae Young
The most prolific scorer in the NCAA could fall to the Bulls, and they would be reaching to pass on him. At 27.4 PPG and 8.8 APG he did come down the last month of the season, mostly in part to teams locking onto him and testing the rest of his team. He is still going to be a top-10 pick in the draft, but his stock feel off due to his over the top production coming down.
The Bulls are going to be in a strong position this coming draft, and will have their pick of talented players in June. It now will come down too finding the one that best fits their scheme and plan.