Through the early season portion of the season the Bulls have seen tremendous growth from Zach LaVine and—in a somewhat rapid fashion—Wendell Carter Jr. Their progression has shown that this core is perhaps closer to being a competitive team than anyone could've imagined.
With all of that being said, the start of the NCAA Men's basketball season gives Bulls fans a look at some of the more NBA-ready talent that have played so far. And with Bleacher Report dropping their latest NBA mock draft on Wednesday, we take a look at some of the prospects B/R projected to be in the range the Bulls would be selecting.
Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina: Little has been projected to be a top-five pick through the summer and has a game somewhat similar to top 2019 NBA prospect R.J. Barrett, due to the fact that they both have the potential to be high-level two-way players at the professional level.
In the first game of his college career, Little came off the bench and was not needed much in a 78-67 win over Wofford. His stat line for the night was 7 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The Tar Heels are a deep and veteran team, so it will be intriguing to see how Little's playing time shapes up. But in his 20 minutes he showcased what makes him such a tantalziing prospect, starting with his ability to create shots off the dribble.
Little has trremendous length with his estimated 7-foot 2-inch wingspan. And on top of using it to create shots in the half court offense, he can be devastating in transition.
But his offensive potential is perhaps more exciting than any other prospect for the simple fact that he already has the body to be an elite defender at the NBA level. And the fact that he held his own against Zion Williamson in amateur competition bodes well for his future.
Romeo Langford, SG/SF, Indiana: Indiana won a tightly contested recruiting battle for Langford and in the first game he showed that he may be the Hoosiers most naturally talented player in some time. He has a great jump shot and he supplements that with good body control and finishing around the rim.
Any game against inferior competition has to be evaluated properly, since a player of Langford's caliber is going to get his numbers against them regardless. He finished 58 percent from the floor—efficiency being more important than the fact the he got 19 pts—and shared the ball with his teammates in an easy win over Chicago State. Langford ended the game with 3 assists and one turnover.
Langford is not showing any fear finishing through contact and though his 3-point shot hasn't fallen yet, there aren't too many concerns about that aspect of his game at this time. His defense is still a major question mark—he had one steal against Chicago State—but he has too much in his offensive repertoire at 19 years old to fall anywhere lower than the lottery come June.
Quentin Grimes, PG/SG, Kansas: Grimes is a big-time scorer and certainly asserted himself in Kansas's first win of the season against Michigan State. Grimes led the Jayhawks in shot attempts (14) and points (21), but the way he got his points is what impressed scouts.
At 6-foot 5-inches and 210 lbs., Grimes has an NBA-ready body. He is a knockdown 3-point shooter—with a compact and quick release—and a solid playmaker as well. Grimes racked up 4 assists and one turnover in his 30 minutes against the Spartans. He didn't get to the free throw line much (1-2 from the charity stripe) and that will be the main concern on nights when his shot isn't falling at the rate it did against MSU.
Slow-motion look at Quentin Grimes’ shooting stroke. Love his size, toughness and IQ. Still needs to prove himself as a perimeter shooter. pic.twitter.com/45D2SkryLl— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) November 6, 2018
Quentin Grimes knocks down his 2nd three of the game early on. Jumper looks smooth. pic.twitter.com/2bEX1bZzOz— Gabe (@AllDaySportTalk) November 7, 2018
Grimes' 6-foot 7-inch wingspan is not jaw-dropping by any means, but it is enough to project him to be a decent defender as he adds strength over his career. Because of his ability to definitely play both backcourt spots and possibly on the wing as well, he is the perfect fit or any team that has enough bodies in the frontcourt rotation already.