As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NBA Draft we will provide profiles of more than 60 prospects, including video interviews with each player, what they're saying leading up to draft day as well as their potential fit on the Bulls.
Norman Powell, G, UCLA
6'4" | 215 lbs. | 22 years old
16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 steals, 45.6 field-goal percentage, 31.9 3-point percentage
"Big Bulls fan, watching them play in the playoffs. I think I fit their system real well, defensive toughness, being able to be that guy that can lock up guys and get out in transition and run."
Fit for the Bulls:
Powell described himself as a Bulls fan at last month's NBA Draft Combine, and though the Bulls were then still being coached by Tom Thibodeau, he professed that he'd be a good fit in the Windy City. In addition to the offensive abilities that made him one of the Pac-12's top scorers, he also touted his defensive prowess. The Bulls figure to be set at the starting shooting guard spot with Jimmy Butler, who though a restricted free agent is expected to be back in a Bulls uniform next season. But Powell is a second-round prospect, and he could help fill the Bulls' reserve unit as a backup scoring guard. After all, both Aaron Brooks and Mike Dunleavy could be gone this offseason. And with new head coach Fred Hoiberg brought in to improve the team's offense, Powell's scoring ability could be a welcome addition to the Bulls bench.
Kendall Gill can add another bullet point to his resume.
NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls analyst was announced as a member of the University of Illinois' Athletics Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018. Gill enters in the same class as his coach at Illinois, Lou Henson, and former Bulls broadcaster Johnny "Red" Kerr.
Gill was a part of Illinois' 1989 Final Four team and earned consensus Second-Team All-America honors the following year as a senior when he led the Big Ten in scoring (20 points per game). He is third in program history in steals with 218.
He went on to have a 15-year NBA career, which included a stint with the Bulls.
Last year was the inaugural class for Illinois' hall of fame.
The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.
1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.
2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…
3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling.