3 best options for Bulls with No. 18 pick in 2022 NBA Draft
The Chicago Bulls are at an interesting point as a franchise. They have been active over the past few seasons and created an impressive roster as a result, finally returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Chicago finished with a record of 46-36, which placed them in sixth in the East. The impressive play from DeMar DeRozan was not enough to guide them to postseason success, though, as the Bulls got bashed by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
There are plenty of questions surrounding the Bulls at the moment. The future of Zach LaVine is uncertain, there are concerns with Lozo Ball’s health, and Nikola Vucivic is entering the final season of his contract. Regardless, Chicago must find ways to continue improving its roster and get closer to its goals of postseason success. One of the best ways to do this is through this 2022 NBA Draft, in which the Bulls hold the 18th pick.
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Best options for Bulls with No. 18 pick in 2022 NBA Draft
Blake Wesley- SG Notre Dame
The 6-foot-5 guard projects well as an NBA combo guard. Wesley was not regarded as the biggest recruit coming out of high school but took some massive strides forward during his one year at Notre Dame. He averaged 14.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.3 steals during his freshman season.
The Notre Dame product has an impressive feel in the pick-and-roll and exciting overall potential. He has eye-popping athleticism and is capable of blowing by defenders. There is plenty of work to be done on his shooting, and it will likely be a few years before he is a true 3-point threat. Even so, his willingness to pull the trigger is encouraging and there are no major mechanical tweaks that need to be made. In the meantime, the rangy guard will make his impact by attacking the rim and capitalizing on mid-range looks.
Blake Wesley would not provide the Bulls with too much of a short-term boost, especially given their need for shooting, but his long-term potential would be worth it.
Dyson Daniels- Guard G League Ignite
Dyson Daniels is a tall and agile guard who can do a little bit of everything. He has one of the higher floors of the prospects in the draft and has the feel of a winning basketball player. Daniels’ defensive ability may be the most impressive attribute of his game at the moment. He stands about 6-foot-6 with active hands and great instincts. The 19-year-old is capable of guarding multiple positions and does not get intimidated by challenging matchups.
The G League Ignite product may lack some of the desired athleticism but is a high IQ basketball player. He will fill up the stat sheet with rebounds and assists and effectively gets his teammates involved. There is some influence from Lonzo Ball in his game, so Ball is an excellent guy for Daniels to learn from. He needs to continue to stay aggressive and improve as a shooter, but the holes in his game are fixable.
It’s worth noting, though, that Daniels is getting hype as a top-10 pick. So, it would likely take a trade up to get him, but you never know what can happen.
Nikola Jovic- PF Serbia
Standing 6-foot-10 and weighing just 209 pounds, Nikola Jovic is a very intriguing prospect. He is a capable ball handler who can initiate the offense in the half court. Jovic is a fairly high IQ basketball player and uses this to make up for his lack of athleticism. The Serbian big man can defend on the perimeter and space the floor offensively.
Despite his size, Jovic lacks as a rim protector. He likely will be best utilized with another big man on the court and allow him to guard the perimeter. This could create potential matchup issues as he is crafty enough to use his length to his advantage. There needs to be an increased overall polish to his game, but his skill and style have a place in the NBA. Jovic fits the model of positionless basketball and could be a real asset to a team if used correctly.
With most of the immediate impact players set to be off the board at the Bulls’ selection, Chicago must be wise with this pick. Investing in a guy who could be a part of the long-term young nucleus would be best for the franchise. Rookie Ayo Dosunmo impressed greatly this season, and pairing him with another young guard would be exciting. Jovic also could be a potential Nikola Vucivic replacement, even though their skill sets are very different. There are larger questions to answer for the franchise, but the offseason must start by nailing their first-round pick.