- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHICAGO -- ESPN analyst and former college coach, Fran Fraschilla, joined Jeff Dickerson and me on Chicago's GameNight Tuesday night and had some interesting things to say regarding the Chicago Bulls and their draft possibilities Thursday night. Fraschilla, like most experts, believes there aren't a lot of surefire stars in this draft, meaning the Bulls could snag a couple sleepers at the end of the first round with picks 28 and 30.
"I think that a team like the Bulls could actually do fairly well because there are guys that are going to be taken in the 20's and 30's that are going to end up every bit as good as someone taken eighth or ninth," Fraschilla said. "So it's a deep draft in that there are a lot of players that potentially could be rotation-type players, although it doesn't look like a draft where you see anybody who's going to be a surefire basketball Hall of Famer. I think from that standpoint, the Bulls could throw a couple darts against the board let's say, and maybe hit on one or both."
Like Bulls GM Gar Forman, Fraschilla said he is a big believer in taking the best player available, instead of drafting a player for a certain need on the team.
"I'm a big 'draft the best player on the board' guy," Fraschilla said. "Because unless you have evaluated two guys that you just can't make a decision on, in terms of their overall talent, and one of them fits a position a little better. I just think the [objective], particularly of a team like Chicago, who this year is picking so far down in the draft, [is to find] a player who maybe falls through the cracks, through the first 27 picks, and not worry about position. Because ultimately, the more talent you accumulate, the more assets you have, and if a guy turns out to be a really good point guard, and you know he's not going to play more than 14 minutes a game for the next ten years (because of Derrick Rose), you may have a guy that you could wind up dealing, much like New Orleans did with Darren Collison a couple years ago when he turned into a starter for the Pacers. So I'm always [of the belief] take the best guy available, especially when you're picking that low."
When Forman met with the media on Tuesday morning he noted that the Bulls may lean towards picking a player with more college experience because of the maturity that comes with playing in big games. But, as Fraschilla pointed out, that doesn't mean the Bulls will rule out a foreign player who may take a few more years to develop. He used the success Omer Asik had this season as an example.
"I don't think [the Bulls] are adverse to going overseas," Fraschilla said. "I just think that given what Gar has done, along with Tom, that it's all about attitude and character. There's no reason to mess up this chemistry that they have at this point, so that's why I don't think it's so much whether it's international or college, but you've got to get a guy that A. is going to commit on the defensive end and B. maybe gives you some offensive punch which is obviously what, I think, the Bulls could use a little bit more of based on the way they finished the season."
One player Fraschilla believes the Bulls will ultimately rule out is Jeremy Tyler, an American player who skipped the end of his high school career, and college altogether, choosing instead to play in Israel and Japan.
"I know Tom Thibodeau pretty well," Fraschilla said. "We worked together in New York and I have unbelievable respect for Tom. And the thing that I know about Tom ... it's all about effort, and hard work and energy, and being a no-mistake guy, particularly defensively, which is why they had such a great season. Along with the fact that they had Derrick Rose. I got a chance to coach [Jeremy] last year at the adidas Euro camp in Italy and he came off a disastrous first year in Israel. He's trying to do the right things. There have been attitude issues in the past, he is trying hard to do the right things.
"[Tyler] is an NBA athlete at 6'10, 6'11, 250, but his skill level is really low. We're not talking about a Joakim Noah here, we're talking about a guy with even less skill level. I don't think the Bulls would pull the trigger on him, in my opinion, because he has not fully turned the corner, in terms of knowing what you're going to get attitude wise. I hope he does because he is trying. I had a chance to talk to him in Chicago and he's trying to do the right things, but I don't know that Chicago will take the chance given the way Tom wants to operate his team."
8dMatt Walks, ESPN.com