Bulls open to drafting PG like Ennis?

May, 16, 2014
May 16
3:54
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis met with the Chicago Bulls on Thursday and came away optimistic about his chances of possibly playing alongside Derrick Rose in the future.

[+] EnlargeTyler Ennis
Rich Barnes/USA TODAY SportsTyler Ennis averaged 12.9 points and 3.4 assists as a freshman for Syracuse.
"I know they always have a lot of point guards on the roster," Ennis said at Friday's NBA draft combine. "Whether that's this year when they have three with Derrick Rose getting hurt, so I know they're not against it. I can say that. Whether they're moving forward and that's something they want to do (I don't know), but that's something they've done in the past. They've been a team that's competed for a championship year in, year out so I don't see why they'd go away from it."

The notion that the Bulls would draft a point guard and play Rose off the ball would have seemed far-fetched a few seasons ago when Rose was on his way to becoming the youngest MVP in league history. But after playing just 50 games over the past three seasons because of ongoing knee problems, the idea of drafting a point guard in the first round has merit.

The Bulls originally signed veteran Kirk Hinrich in 2012, in part, because they liked the idea that he and Rose could play together. Ennis is intrigued by the idea as well.

"As a point guard, as a pass-first point guard, it's a little bit different for me," he said. "I'm able to score; I'm more than willing to score for my team, and I think I play better when I have another guard on my side. With both of us being playmakers, I think learning from Derrick Rose and playing with him, and having two guards on the floor that could make others better is only good for a team."

Bulls general manager Gar Forman did not rule out the possibility of re-signing D.J. Augustin and Hinrich, especially if Hinrich is willing to play for the veteran's minimum. But if Augustin is looking for a big payday after his solid season, then the Bulls may look closer at drafting a player like the freshman phenom from Syracuse, who is ranked No. 11 on Chad Ford's Big Board.

"I think I was able to ask them a few questions about (the possibility of playing with Rose)," Ennis said. "And I think going forward, the success in the playoffs of teams going with two guards is kind of going to open people's eyes and I think more teams going forward are going to do that. I don't know if the Bulls are one of those teams, but I've seen Augustin and Hinrich play at the same time at points throughout this year. And I think with me and Derrick Rose on the floor together you wouldn't have any offensive struggles. And I think we're both able to guard our positions. And I think we'd be able to play together."

Ennis isn't the first Syracuse point guard the Bulls have discussed drafting in recent years. Syracuse standout Jonny Flynn admitted at the 2009 combine that he talked to the Bulls about playing alongside Rose. The Bulls never got the chance to decide on Flynn since he went sixth overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves and fell quickly out of the league.

The Bulls drafted point guard Marquis Teague with the 29th selection in the 2012 first round, but he was traded earlier this season to the Brooklyn Nets after struggling in his year and a half stint under Tom Thibodeau.

No matter which direction the Bulls decide to go over the next few weeks, Ennis knows one thing for sure: Thibodeau is more intense than his college coach Jim Boeheim.

"I think he might be more intense," Ennis said with a chuckle. "Coach (Thibodeau) is cool, he seems like he's a good guy, and he cares about his players as well from what I've seen so if I get a chance to work out for Chicago I'm going to show them what I have."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 3.4 1.5 40.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.5
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0