NBA DRAFT

Mock Draft Roundup: Avdija, Hayes most popular picks for Bulls

/ by Rob Schaefer
Presented By BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois
NBA DRAFT

A critical offseason for the Bulls is well underway, and its first tentpole date looms: The 2020 NBA Draft, currently scheduled for Nov. 18.

With the No. 4 and 44 overall picks in hand, Artūras Karnišovas and the rest of the team’s new-look front office find themselves in an enviable position. All options appear to be on the table, from addressing the point guard position with one of the litany of intriguing names at the top of the class, to nabbing some high-upside wing help, to a trade up into the top two and beyond.

RELATED: Draft lessons from Karnišovas, Eversley’s past NBA stops

Karnišovas has made clear he’ll follow his nose for talent above all, which is good news for a team with just a .310 cumulative winning percentage since the start of the rebuild. So, too, is the addition of Billy Donovan in the head coaching seat.

But roster rules all in the NBA. How could the Bulls’ change on Nov. 18? Here’s a roundup of expert opinions from the latest mock drafts around the internet. Select excerpts included, but hyperlinks to full analysis are recommended — these are some of the brightest draft minds out there.

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic

 

No. 4: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

No. 44: Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville

On Avdija: “... New president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas played a significant role in the most successful international scouting departments in recent years with the Denver Nuggets before being elevated to his prior role within the organization. He’ll have a good feel for Avdija, who has enamored scouts with versatility on the ball at 6-foot-9. He’s much more of a point forward type than a lead ballhandler a la Luka Dončić, but his dexterity with the ball in the open court is impressive, and he can make terrific passes both out of pick-and-roll and out on the break...”

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report

No. 4: Deni Avdija

On Avdija: “... The Bulls figure (to) stay put at No. 4 if they believe Deni Avdija will be there. Rival teams have told Bleacher Report they think Chicago could be interested in Tyrese Haliburton. But Avdija sounds equally valued around the league. And his two-way versatility at the forward spots and success in Israel and Euroleague could give him the edge...”

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated

No. 4: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

No. 44: Devon Dotson, G, Kansas

On Avdija: Avdija is widely thought to be in play for Chicago at No. 4. New executive VP of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas has a strong comfort level and track record drafting international players from his time in Denver. Avdija’s passing ability could give the Bulls a much-needed dimension of unselfishness and facilitate ball movement… Avdija has a big adjustment coming, but he’s well ahead of the curve for his age, and the hope is that he’ll evolve into the type of in-demand, oversize auxiliary ballhandler teams covet...”

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer

No. 4: Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm

On Hayes: “Hayes is my top-ranked prospect and is receiving heavy interest in the mid-lottery. He’s a dynamic shot creator who also brings a defensive mentality that the Bulls need. Chicago has a lot of guards, but does new Bulls front office head Artūras Karnišovas want to build around any of them? Drafting Hayes would signal more changes on the horizon.”

James Ham, NBC Sports Bay Area

No. 4: Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm

On Hayes: “... Hayes appears to be the big riser in this year’s draft. Chicago needs a legitimate playmaking point guard and Hayes is a big, versatile, left-hander with a developing offensive game and above average court vision. A three guard rotation with Hayes, Zach LaVine and Coby White is intriguing...”

 

Gary Parrish, CBS Sports

No. 4: Obi Toppin, F, Dayton

On Toppin: “... He's a super-athletic forward who dunks everything — he actually led the nation in dunks — and consistently makes jumpers in pick-and-pop situations. Yes, the fact that he's already 22 years-old is an issue worth taking into account. But it will not — or, at least, it should not — overshadow the idea that Toppin has a chance to be the most impactful player selected in this draft. In Chicago, he could easily play with Lauri Markkanen or Wendell Carter and immediately become another weapon for Zach LaVine and Coby White.”

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