Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Bulls' history at 28 and 30 isn't great
Leandro Barbosa was the 28th pick in 2003, proving talent can be found in that slot.
The Bulls have three picks in Thursday's NBA draft. Barring a trade, they'll select two players in the first round with the 28th and 30th picks. Then they will add one more player in the second round with the 43rd overall pick.
Though they have been few and far between, there have been some standout players selected in those slots in recent drafts. In 2003, Brazilian scorer Leandro Barbosa was selected by the Spurs with the 28th pick and then traded to the Suns. Barbosa was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year for the 2006-07 season, and he has shot almost 40 percent on three-point attempts during his career.
In 2005, University of Florida power forward David Lee went to the Knicks with the 30th pick. In 2010, Lee became the first Knick to make an All-Star team in almost a decade. He parlayed that performance into an $80 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. Since becoming a starter in 2008, Lee has averaged over 17 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Bulls starting 2-guard Keith Bogans was selected with the 43rd pick in 2003. Sharpshooter Michael Redd was selected at that spot in 2000, and defensive stopper Trevor Ariza was drafted 43rd in 2004.
The Bulls do have a history of picking players from these slots, and they haven't fared too well from any of the three. They have missed badly on all three of their most recent selections from those slots. Their last pick at 28 was in 1998 when they drafted high-flying McDonald's All-American Corey Benjamin from Oregon State. Benjamin lasted just three seasons with the Bulls, starting only 16 games.
In 2002, the Bulls had the 30th overall pick, which at the time was a second round pick. They drafted Roger Mason Jr. from Virginia, a solid if unspectacular player in the ACC. Mason Jr. found success later on in his career with the Spurs, but he played in just 20 games for the Bulls before being dealt to Toronto for Rick Brunson.
The Bulls also had the 43rd pick in that draft and used it to select Maryland power forward Lonny Baxter. Baxter won an NCAA championship with the Terps, but he struggled to keep pace in the NBA. He played in just 69 games for the Bulls over parts of two seasons. Baxter left the NBA in 2006 and has played in Europe since then, most recently in Russia.
Fortunately for the Bulls, there should be a few different shooting guards available at both 28 and 30 on Thursday night. Kansas' Josh Selby, Butler's Shelvin Mack and possibly Providence's Marshon Brooks could all still be on the board when it's time for the Bulls to pick.