Chicago Bulls: Justin Harper
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls could decide to go a lot of different directions with their two first round picks (Nos. 28 and 30) during Thursday night's draft.
Bulls GM Gar Forman basically admitted on Tuesday morning the same thing we've all known for a long time when it comes to the NBA draft: It's a crapshoot. Make no mistake, the Bulls have done their due diligence. Forman said the team has interviewed and worked out between 40 and 50 players and has been trying to find guys who will fit within the framework of Tom Thibodeau's system. Forman said he expects to keep both picks and hopes they can provide depth to a roster that already seems set for next season, if and when the lockout ends. No matter how much data is collected, though, nobody is quite sure just how good or bad these players will be in the future.
The Bulls, as Michael Wilbon pointed out would be wise to turn these picks into assets that will help them down line in a potential deal for someone who can provide more of an immediate impact. Having said that, here are five possibilities that Bulls may go after in Thursday night:
Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA: He's just a sophomore, but he played in 33 games last year for the Bruins, averaging 13 points and seven rebounds a contest. He's also 6-foot-8 and has the ability to knock down some long-range shots. His length is something that Thibodeau would be able to work with, especially if he shows the ability to guard multiple positions.
Davis Bertans, Latvia: As Wilbon noted in his column, Bertans is 6-foot-10, and he can shoot. Those qualities would make him appealing to any team, but especially one that struggled so mightily to score points late against the postseason. Bertans would be able to space the floor and give Rose more room to operate. The question, as it always is for Thibodeau, would be can he play defense?
Justin Harper, Richmond: ESPN.com's Chad Ford had the Bulls going after Harper in the first round and it makes sense. Harper averaged 18 points a game, shot 45 percent from beyond the arc and, like Bertans, he's 6-foot-10. He's also a senior and has played in enough big games that make it seem unlikely he would get overwhelmed by big moments in the NBA.
Kyle Singler, Duke: A four-year standout at Duke, Singler won a national title during his junior year and was a leader for the Blue Devils. He averaged 17 points a year ago and seems to be the type of hard-nosed player Thibodeau would enjoy coaching. He can knock down a jumper when needed and has shown the type of consistency in each one of his four years in college that most players his age (23) don't have.
Chandler Parsons, Florida: Named the SEC player of the year this past season, Parsons is another well-rounded player with the ability to knock down long-range shots. He's played in plenty of big games during his time at the Florida under Billy Donovan. He also appears to have the type of intangibles that the Bulls are looking for. He's been a leader on a team that almost went to the Final Four this season and can grow and get better on a team that wouldn't need him to contribute right away.