Being a Bulls fan can sometime feel like being the star quarterback in high school. For a while, you were on top of the world. Everyone wanted to be you, and nothing could touch you.
Then, you got a little order and the real world hit you like a ton of bricks. Ever since the glory days of the two 90’s threepeats, the Bulls have yet to appear in another NBA Finals. They’ve had some great seasons, reaching the conference semifinals on multiple occasions and even the conference finals in Derrick Rose’s third season with the team, but Bulls fans are so spoiled that anything less than a Championship can feel like a failure.
This mentality extends to the draft.
Every team wants to draft the next superstar. Nabbing that perfect college star who will come in and revolutionize your team is what every basement dwelling team’s fanbase dreams of. This has led to a few swing for the fence moments that have been complete failures. Remember the Tyrus Thomas for LaMarcus Aldridge swap? Also – Tony Snell, Marquis Teague, and a few others that I can’t even bring myself to type.
So, going in to the 2018 draft last week, the crowd once again clamored for a big, franchise shifting move. For some, swapping with the Grizzlies and sacrificing a few building blocks while taking on Chandler Parsons’ garbage contract for the 4th pick would be an acceptable sacrifice for a new star. Others thought taking a risk with the 7th pick on Michael Porter would be the way to the Bull’s future.
Now, that first option is a complete non-starter. The Bulls are currently in a rebuild and sacrificing important pieces of the foundation and ruining the team’s cap space for a hit or miss 4th pick would be the quickest way to tank the franchises attempts to building towards relevancy.
Porter may have the ability to be a superstar in the NBA, and that’s a little harder to shoot down. No guts no glory after all. However, his back IS a factor and it has been floated that he most likely will not play a single minute of his rookie year. There’s legitimate concern that his astronomically high ceiling looks less appealing when you compare him to the bottomless pit that is his floor.
The Bulls, instead, took a better route in their rebuilding plans. They made smart picks that can help them build for the future.
Wendell Carter Jr. averaged 13.5 points a game on a Duke team that at times had to fight to get out of Marvin Bagley’s shadow. While he may not have the blocking numbers of Jaren Jackson Jr., he was also a player that flashed strong defensive capabilities during his lone college campaign – averaging 9.1 rebounds a game. Pair him with Lauri Markkanen, and the Bulls have a pair that can stretch the floor.
Fix some of Carter’s mobility issues, and his ceiling could reach Al Horford highs. That’s nothing to shake a stick at.
With the 22nd pick, the Bulls sought to fix a major problem from last years team by adding Chandler Hutchison.Hutchison tore it up his last two years at Boise State, racking up enough three’s that put to rest any fears that he may have trouble with long shots in his NBA career. He may be seeing more meaningful minutes this season than many expect. The team’s need for a strong wing shooter is a large reason for their lack of offensive splash last year.
The Bulls didn’t reinvent the wheel this draft. They most likely didn’t get this year’s Rookie of the Year. What they did get however are pieces that may have completed the foundation for a great rebuild. Dynasty’s are a waiting game. We have to be patient.