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Thursday, June 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls draft Tony Snell

By ESPNChicago.com

Tony Snell
Tony Snell connected on 39 percent of his three-point attempts at New Mexico last season.
Here's a quick look at the Chicago Bulls' first-round selection (20th overall) in Thursday's NBA draft, New Mexico small forward Tony Snell:

The numbers: 6-foot-7, 198 pounds. Reach: 8'-10". Wingspan: 6'-11"

Strengths: Snell is a long, athletic shooter who made 39 percent of his three-point attempts as a junior at New Mexico. He averaged 12.5 points last season and has the potential to be a good defender. "I feel like I'm good enough to defend anybody," Snell said.

Weaknesses: The wiry Snell needs to add some bulk and could improve his ballhandling.

Snell's reaction: "It was crazy knowing I'm going to the Bulls. I watched Jordan play my whole life. I never knew I was going to be here. I watched Derrick Rose, he's a really great player. I can't wait to work with him and help the team win."

Beyond the numbers: Snell was a high school teammate of the San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard at Riverside (Calif.) King High School in in 2009.

College career: Snell was the MVP of the Mountain West Tournament this season, averaging 17.7 points a game and hitting 60 percent (12 of 20) from three-point range. He had nine points on 4-of-12 shooting during the Lobos' first-round upset loss to Harvard in the NCAA tournament.

Scouting report: "He can really shoot it. He can really make shots and make it from the line but I think he's just one of those kids that loves to play, loves to be in the gym," New Mexico coach Craig Neal said Thursday on ESPN Chicago 1000. "He's going to be a sponge and will do whatever they ask him to do. Those are the biggest things, but he's also a winner."

How he fits: Going into the draft, the Bulls had two glaring needs: A perimeter shooter and a backup big man to give Joakim Noah a rest and fill the role that Omer Asik played before last season. With many mock drafts predicting the Bulls would opt for Duke power forward Mason Plumlee, the Bulls opted for the wing player in Snell. Rookies don't play much under Tom Thibodeau (see Jimmy Butler and Marquis Teague), but Snell has the potential to give the Bulls an option behind Luol Deng and Butler.

ESPN Insider Chad Ford's take: The Bulls wanted a shooter, but I wonder about Snell. With other shooters such as Allen Crabbe and Reggie Bullock left on the board, I think there were safer picks than Snell. Snell is intriguing, but he was very inconsistent at New Mexico. He was sort of a workout wonder. Don't love this pick.

Miscellaneous: Snell is the highest drafted New Mexico player since Danny Granger (No. 17) in 2005, according to ESPN Stats and Information.