Even with Thursdays NBA Draft quickly approaching, it isnt as buzzworthy as Derrick Rose being on a video-game cover commercials featuring the Bulls point guard, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin were in heavy circulation during the recently-concluded NBA playoffs or the overblown speculation surrounding whether or not All-Star Luol Deng will be traded for a lottery pick, but the Bulls have continued to diligently make preparations to select a player with the 29th overall pick.
The organization has brought in several players to work out in preparation for the draft, as well as to contemplate potential additions for Julys summer league roster, but it is believed that the team is targeting the best available player with the choice, particularly a guard prospect.
Sure, if the likes of Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger, whos been medically red-flagged because of back problems, drops that far in the first round, it would be hard to pass him up, but other than that unlikely occurrence, the Bulls will look to add shooting or a player who can create his own shot, preferably both. One player that fits that description is Memphis shooting guard Will Barton, who is scheduled for a return visit to the Berto Cente rhe worked out with a large group of prospects almost a month ago for a solo workout Wednesday morning, according to a source.
The slender swingman made great strides as an outside shooter between his freshman and sophomore seasons, but that aspect of his game, as well as adding strength to his frame, are still considered works in progress compared to the rest of his versatile skillset. However, Bartons stock is rising around the league and he may not be available when the Bulls make their selection.
Nevertheless, heres a rundown of prospects the Bulls may consider Thursday:
Will Barton, 6-foot-6 shooting guard, Memphis: The aforementioned Barton is a high-energy, jack-of-all-trades type with a penchant for attacking the basket, something the Bulls could use, especially with Rose on the shelf to begin the season.
Jared Cunningham, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Oregon State: Another slashing type, Cunningham is regarded as a combo guard and a high-level athlete, as well as a player well-regarded for his defensive acumen.
Kim English, 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Missouri: A wing shooter, English played on a balanced Missouri team in college, but has distinguished himself in both the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and pre-draft workouts.
Festus Ezeli, 6-foot-10 center, Vanderbilt: Still a raw offensive talenta function of the native of Nigeria not playing much organized basketball before collegeEzeli is viewed as a rim protector on the defensive end with a pro-ready body.
Evan Fournier, 6-foot-7 shooting guard, France: Fournier, a smooth swingman who possesses both scoring and playmaking ability, is perhaps the highest-rated international prospect in the draft and is expected to play in the NBA next season, not be stashed in Europe.
Draymond Green, 6-foot-7 forward, Michigan State: Green lacks the size to play power forward and the quickness to play small forward, but his intangibles, toughness, winning mentality and uncanny passing ability intrigue a lot of teams.
John Jenkins, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Vanderbilt: Jenkins is a bit undersized for his position and lacks the athleticism and versatility to impact the game other than shooting the ball, at which he may be the best in the draft.
Orlando Johnson, 6-foot-5 shooting guard, UC-Santa Barbara: A scorer with toughness, Johnsons strong build and mature game have eliminated many doubts about the lower level of competition he played against in college.
Doron Lamb, 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Kentucky: A tremendous outside shooter with a savvy game, Lamb lacks great size and athleticism, but simply knows how to play the game, as hes capable of scoring in bursts, but also playing off the ball or functioning as a playmaker.
Scott Machado, 6-foot-1 point guard, Iona: A pure point guard who might already be close to hitting his ceiling, Machados size is a question mark, but his unselfishness and passing ability could allow him to make an impact as a rookie backup.
Quincy Miller, 6-foot-9 small forward, Baylor: A North Chicago native, Miller has one of the biggest upsides in the draft, but with only a lone season of college hoops under his beltone in which he was still recovering from an ACL injury suffered during his senior year of high schoola small sample size to evaluate.
Jeff Taylor, 6-foot-7 small forward, Vanderbilt: Yet another Vanderbilt player, Taylor already has a niche as a defensive-oriented wing with nice athleticism and a continually-developing outside jumper.
Tyshawn Taylor, 6-foot-2 point guard, Kansas: Criticized as erratic throughout his four-year college career, Taylor brings good quickness and the ability to defend to the table, as well as the experience of playing in high-pressure situations.
Marquis Teague, 6-foot-2 point guard Kentucky: The brother of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, the younger Teague had an up-and-down freshman season, but his physical toolsnamely, his explosivenessmight be too hard to pass up.
Tony Wroten, 6-foot-6 point guard, Washington: Wroten has excellent size for his position and remarkable court vision, but hes also turnover-prone and has a shaky outside jumper, descriptions that were attributed to Celtics All-Star Rajon Rondo when he was coming out of college.