Bulls have ninth pick, and there should be several candidates available.
The forward position is an area of need for the Bulls this offseason, when P.J. Brown is expected to leave as an unrestricted free agent and restricted free-agent Andres Nocioni might follow him out the door in a sign-and-trade move.
Tyrus Thomas is to play extended minutes at power forward opposite Luol Deng next season, but more and better numbers are needed there.
In that case, the Bulls couldn’t have picked a better time to fill the need, as the draft is especially deep at the wing spots.
If the front office stays put with the ninth overall pick in the first round, it should be in position to pick and choose from several candidates at the position.
The potential lottery picks at the position:
- Kevin Durant (6-foot-10, 215 pounds, University of Texas). He didn’t score high in the measurables at the predraft camp, but the kid can play. Considered to be a combination of Kevin Garnett and Tracy McGrady, Durant can score from anywhere from the rim to the 3-point arc. And he can rebound and block shots, too.
- Al Horford (6-10, 246, Florida). Some doubts persist about his interior defense, but there are few if any about his ability to score and rebound.
- Jeff Green (6-8, 225, Georgetown). An excellent passer and rebounder who can play either forward position. Green can score, too, although he lacks quickness and needs to be more assertive at times.
- Brandan Wright (6-10, 200, North Carolina). He lacks physical strength, but his length and freakish athletic skills cannot be overlooked.
- Yi Jianlian (7-0, 230, Guangdong Tigers). Runs the floor and shoots the perimeter shot like a small forward. Yi played against inferior competition overseas. As a result, he might not be able to make an immediate contribution at the next level.
- Corey Brewer (6-8, 185, Florida). Has the size and athleticism to play small forward or off guard effectively. Upper-body strength is an issue at this stage, but Brewer appears to have a future in the league as a defensive stopper and 3-point specialist.
- Joakim Noah (7-0, 223, Florida). Reminds some of a taller, more mature Tyrus Thomas in some ways. Noah plays with considerable energy, especially at the defensive end, but his offensive game is a work in progress. Like Brewer and Horford, his experience with a two-time national championship team improves his stock considerably.
- Al Thornton (6-7, 221, Florida State). May be the best pure athlete available. While his abilities as a passer and ball-handler leave much to be desired, the 23-year-old Thornton has a lethal first step and advanced midrange game.
Brewer, Noah and Thornton worked out for the Bulls earlier this month, while Yi had a private session for team officials in Los Angeles.
Other probable first-rounders: Josh McRoberts (6-10, 240, Duke), Jason Smith (7-0, 233, Colorado State), Tiago Splitter (7-0, 245, Tau Victoria), Julian Wright (6-9, 211, Kansas), Thaddeus Young (6-8, 210, Georgia Tech).
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