Bulls Talk: 2015 NBA first round mock draft


Bulls Talk: 2015 NBA first round mock draft

A handful of teams at the top of the NBA Draft are looking for franchise-changing prospects, while contenders from both conferences are hoping to find league-ready talent who can help them from Day 1.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Kentucky: The most complete player in this year's class, Towns has solidified himself as the top pick in the draft thanks to a versatile offensive game, aggressive defensive game and gobs of potential. Like all 2014-15 Wildcats he didn't get to show off his full arsenal on such a deep and talented team, but Towns showed flashes of greatness in his lone season in Lexington. He's an underrated passer, could add some range and may still be growing in addition to all he does well already. For the Timberwolves, there's an obvious need on the interior that Towns could fill from Day 1. Having Kevin Garnett in his ear every day wouldn't hurt his progress, either.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

Jahlil Okafor, C, Los Angeles: The Lakers would be thrilled to select either of the top two players, and getting the most polished offensive prospect in the class is a heck of a consolation prize. Okafor's embarrassment of riches in the post will make him arguably the game's best low-block rookie scorer since DeMarcus Cousins. His footwork, soft hands and touch around the basket will have him averaging in the teens from the start (Cousins averaged 14.1 points as a rookie), so long as he figures out how to play with and complement Kobe Bryant. For the Lakers to jump up in the lottery and snag Okafor to pair with Julius Randle creates a frontcourt oozing with potential.

3. Philadelphia 76ers

D'Angelo Russell, PG, Ohio State: This pick makes too much sense. One would hope that the recent Joel Embiid news doesn't mean the Sixers want to stash another young project (Kristaps Porzingis) and tank another season. Of course they'll likely be an NBA bottom feeder next season regardless, but Russell 's addition alongside young talent in Nerlens Noel and Robert Covington would give Brett Brown a talented three-headed monster with good balance. Russell's court vision, decision making and ability to play both guard spots are exactly what teams are looking for in their franchise point guards. After dealing Michael Carter-Williams at last year's trade deadline for a future first-round pick, the Sixers go and get an upgrade at the position, both now and for the future. This should be a no-brainer, unless GM Sam Hinkie is thinking more obvious tanking.

4. New York Knicks

Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia: The 7-foot stretch forward has been on the rise ever since his personal workout in Las Vegas went viral. And he appears to be worth the hype. The Knicks can't worry about drafting for need at this point in their franchise; Phil Jackson has a few good years of Carmelo Anthony left and needs a building block to put alongside the veteran small forward. That could be Porzingis, whose athleticism and range make him a perfect fit in today's game. New York could opt for a point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay, but a swing-for-the-fences pick in Porzingis also makes sense for a team desperate to turn things around. This would hardly be a reach, too, making it a pick the Zen Master easily could defend.

5. Orlando Magic

Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky: True, the Magic a $48 million center in Nikola Vucevic, and they'll be paying free agent bust Channing Frye more than $22 million the next three seasons, but Cauley-Stein is too good a prospect to pass on here. The best defensive player in the class would immediately step into a starting role alongside Vucevic and help a defense that ranked 25th in efficiency last season. Further, opponents shot better than 61 percent from inside 5 feet against the Magic, the third highest percentage in the league. Orlando is blooming with young start potential with Vuceivc, Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo; adding Cauley-Stein to that mix could make them an intriguing team in the East in a few years. Justise Winslow may be more of a need, but a franchise that has won 68 games combined the last three years needs to go get the best player available and figure out the depth chart later.

6. Sacramento Kings

Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China: The Kings may prefer Cauley-Stein here to pair up with his good friend DeMarcus Cousins, but Mudiay would fill just as big a hole. Darren Collison really struggled in his first year with the Kings and doesn't appear to be the answer long-term. With no true other young pieces past Cousins, Sacramento needs to find the best player available and pounce on him. In this scenario it's Mudiay, a bruising 6-foot-5 point guard who shows flashes of John Wall in transition. He's more raw than his counterpart Russell, as his defense and jump shot needs work. But if you're looking at potential, few players have more of it than Mudiay. A Mudiay-Cousins pick-and-roll could be a nightmare in the West for years.

7. Denver Nuggets

Justise Winslow, SF, Duke: The do-it-all small forward could go as early as No. 4 to the Knicks, and realistically he's a top-5 talent. So, if Winslow falls this far it'd be a huge coup for a Nuggets team looking to hit the reset button and find the best talent in the draft. Winslow has NBA First Team All-Defense potential with his solid frame and 6-foot-11 wingspan, and he's shown off a versatile, ever-improving offensive game that includes 3-pointers, running back-style drives to the rim and a raw yet efficient post-up game. What's exciting about Winslow is the overall versatility touts; the team that selects the national champion can mold him any which way they see fitting. He'll succeed in just about any system.

8. Detroit Pistons

Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia: There's plenty to love about the 6-foot-8 sharpshooter who already has the confidence of a seasoned NBA veteran. The Pistons would love to see Cauley-Stein or Porzingis fall here to pair with Andre Drummond (to replace Greg Monroe) and they could consider Frank Kaminsky as well. But if they opt for upside and select based on their draft board, Hezonja could be the guy. He's an excellent slasher who has already competed against some of the best non-NBA talent in the world, and while he's got to build on his 215-pound frame he can enter Day 1 as a sharpshooter who can also create off the dribble. Like all international prospects he's a wild card, but he's an intriguing prospect who will be off the board in the first 10 picks.

9. Charlotte Hornets

Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky: The Hornets were a historically bad 3-point shooting team, and while they invested a first-round pick in P.J. Hairston a year ago there's still a lot more work to be done. Booker is the youngest player in this year's class - he won't turn 19 until Oct. 30 - yet may be the best shooter, hitting better than 41 percent of his 3-point attempts for the Wildcats. A five-star recruit that got overshadowed a bit by the other-wordly frontcourt and Harrison twins in the backcourt, Booker has the talent, upside and length to be an elite two-way guard at the next level. Picking him at No. 9 may be a reach for the Hornets, but he fills a need and has room to grow around a creator in Kemba Walker.

10. Miami Heat

Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona: Few other picks make more sense in the draft than Johnson to Miami. Whether or not Luol Deng exercises his player option this offseason, the South Sudan native's best playing days are behind him and the Heat need to begin looking toward the future. And with no one of value behind Deng on the depth chart, Johnson would slide in nicely alongside Goran Dragic, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Johnson is a gifted scorer who possesses great length and is just starting to show off his potential. He'd be in an excellent spot playing with so many experienced veterans with championship experience, and he's also the best player left on the board at this point.

11. Indiana Pacers

Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky: The Pacers should compete in the Eastern Conference with a fully healthy Paul George. Still, they need to consider looking toward the future with this pick. David West will be a free agent in 2016, while Luis Scola, Lavoy Allen and Chris Copeland are free agents this offseason. There's work to do in the frontcourt, and Lyles fits the bill as a potential cornerstone to team up with George for the future. His inside-out game, combined with his 240-pound frame make him a perfect fit at the power forward spot, and he'll be able to show off more of his all-around game after being overshadowed by Cauley-Stein and Towns at Kentucky. 

12. Utah Jazz

Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas: While Oubre is a similar player to that of Rodney Hood, who the Jazz selected in the first round last year, the Jayhawks freshman fits a need for a Jazz team with two solid young point guards and one of the best young frontcourts in the league. Assuming Alec Burks returns healthy and Hood continues his progression, Oubre could be brought along slowly as a potential contributor down the line. Just 19 years old, Oubre still needs a fair amount of seasoning before he's ready to contribute. But if Utah can complement Gordon Hayward on the wing with more versatile scorers, it'll allow him to create more for others which, in turn, will open things up inside for Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. 

13. Phoenix Suns

Frank Kaminsky, PF, Wisconsin: College basketball's player of the year isn't going to jump off the page athletically, but the combination of his sheer size and outside shooting makes him a unique player in this class destined for the lottery. Phoenix has versatile forwards in the Morris twins, but with a pair of defensive-minded centers in Alex Len and Brandan Wright they could really use some offensive versatility to complement their scoring backcourt. Kaminsky will be an excellent pick-and-pop teammate for Brandon Knight (if he returns) and Eric Bledsoe, and the Wisconsin center's floor is higher than some of the younger players in the class.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder

Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State: D.J. Augustin filled in for Reggie Jackson after the Thunder traded Jackson at last year's deadline. And while Augustin is around for another season, the Thunder need to begin thinking about the future at the point-guard position. Augustin is likely gone after next season, meaning Billy Donovan will need a viable backup for Russell Westbrook down the line. What's more, Westbrook's future past his 2017 contract is unknown, meaning an investment in Payne could mean the point guard of the future. While that's looking a bit too far ahead, Payne would provide excellent defense on the second unit. He's a bit of an unknown thanks to his mid-major status, but Payne can play.

15. Atlanta Hawks

Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas: The Hawks have some work to do this offseason, as both Paul Millsap (unrestricted) and DeMarre Carroll (restricted) are free agents. Carroll should be back, and even if Millsap decides to stay in Atlanta the team could use some versatility at the position on the second unit. Mike Scott fell out of the rotation late in the year and Mike Muscala doesn't add much range. Portis has excellent length, one of the best inside-out games in this year's class and, at 20 years old, should improve greatly under Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer. He's great value if he falls this far, even if his one glaring weakness (rebounding) also haunted the Hawks late in the year. He certainly could go earlier than  No. 15.

16. Boston Celtics

Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia: The Celtics want to keep restricted free agent Jae Crowder, though there's still help needed on the wing. With a surplus of guards (Thomas, Bradley, Smart, Turner) and versatile big men (Olynyk, Sullinger, Zeller) Boston can use the first of its two first-round picks by reaching for a need. That's Anderson, one of the best perimeter defenders and outside shooters in this year's class. His physical frame will allow him to compete for playing time from Day 1, and while his offensive game needs some rounding into form he fits the mold for what Brad Stevens and Boston are trying to do defensively. He'd be a great piece to put next to Crowder, and combined with Marcus Smart give the Celtics some serious defensive upside.

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Myles Turner, PF, Texas: The Bucks reportedly will go after one of Brook Lopez or Tyson Chandler in free agency, and there's not really a true center worth drafting at this spot in the draft. That leaves the Bucks looking for both need and upside, and Turner fits the bill. What he lacks for in fluidity and quickness he makes up for in sheer size, athleticism and range that extends to the 3-point line offensively. He's a high-risk, high-reward selection, which is why he may fall on Thursday (on the flip side, he could go as early as No. 11 to Indiana). With the Bucks trading away Ersan Ilyasova earlier this month, there's minutes to be had at power forward. Turner could work his way into that rotation, and potentially an even bigger role depending on how free agency unfolds.

18. Houston Rockets

Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame: The Rockets have been linked to a point guard at this spot for quite some time. With Patrick Beverley a free agent and Jason Terry nearing retirement, Houston must address the position. In this scenario they opt for Grant. He didn't shoot the ball as well in his final season with the Irish because of how much was heaped on him, but at 6-foot-5 he's an athlete who can play off the ball while James Harden has the rock, and he'll help improve a defense that struggled mightily after Beverley went down. At 23 years old, he's ready to contribute from Day 1 as the Rockets look to get back to the Western Conference Finals. 

19. Washington Wizards

Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville: Kevin Seraphin and Drew Gooden are free agents, while Nene will hit the open market in 2016. That could leave a major void alongside Marcin Gortat that Harrell would be a perfect fit for. He's undersized and doesn't have a consistent jumper, but Harrell is the kind of player that will fit in and succeed anywhere because of his energy, strength and willingness to work. He went to two Final Fours in three seasons with the Cardinals, winning the National Championship in 2014, and improved every year under Rick Pitino. He may never play in an All-Star Game, but he's the type of player who could be a 10-year role player on his active style of play and attitude alone.

20. Toronto Raptors

Kevon Looney, PF, UCLA: The Raptors may have to replace Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams this offseason, though a weak shooting guard class doesn't leave many options for them here. They'll have to find that depth behind DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross elsewhere. A need they could fill at No. 20 is power forward, where Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough are set to hit free agency. Enter Kevon Looney, who led all freshmen in double-doubles this past year and has the makeup of a potential superstar defender. His offensive game leaves a lot to be desired - he feasted on the offensive glass - but his rebounding alone would instantly help a Raptors team that ranked 19th in total rebound percentage a year ago.

21. Dallas Mavericks

Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin: The Mavericks could lose Monta Ellis and Tyson Chandler in free agency this offseason. And while they won't find a quick fix for Chandler in this year's draft, if they're looking to add scoring and outside shooting Dekker could be their man. An underrated creator who exploded in the NCAA Tournament, Dekker would be a great complement opposite Chandler Parsons on the wing. Dallas has the most to gain or lose in free agency, and what they do with this pick could offer some insight to how they'll approach it.

22. Chicago Bulls

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona: While this seems more like a pick for a Tom Thibodeau-led team, the Bulls need help defensively past Jimmy Butler. They spent first-round picks the last two seasons on offensive-minded wings in Tony Snell and Doug McDermott. And even if Gar Forman and John Paxson retain Mike Dunleavy (unrestricted free agent) there's still a void on the other side of the ball. If the Bulls want to get the most out of Butler's offensive skills he can't be expected to defend the opposition's best player 35+ minutes per game. That's where Hollis-Jefferson, a stout defender and tremendous rebounder could come in handy. Giving Butler even a few possessions off could go a long way, especially in the postseason.

23. Portland Trail Blazers

Christian Wood, F, UNLV: The Trail Blazers could lose LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Arron Afflalo to free agency this offseason, making this an important pick for the franchise. They gave themselves some insurance for Matthews last year when they selected C.J. McCollum in the first round, and they can do the same for Aldridge by selecting the extremely raw yet talented Wood late in the first round. The 6-foot-10 sophomore has all the makings of a versatile scorer at the next level, and he blocked 2.6 shots per game thanks to his 7-foot-2 wingspan. At just 215 pounds he's a project who may need a year or two in the weight room before he shows full returns, but the upside is there for him to be a potential steal in this year's draft.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers

Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV: The Cavs' makeup will look different by the end of next year's playoffs than it did this year, but the fact remains that David Blatt's group needs more creators on the second unit. Vaughn was arguably the most impressive scoring freshman this past season, averaging 17.8 points per game on better than 38 percent from beyond the arc. He's got the measurables to be a stout defender, but on Cleveland he'll be asked to score in a variety of ways off the bench. Depending on what they do with Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson this offseason, the Cavaliers will need cheap contributors. Vaughn fits the bill, with some upside (19 years old) to boot.

25. Memphis Grizzlies

Anthony Brown, SF, Stanford: Jeff Green exercised his player option earlier in the week, so small forward is less of a need for Memphis this offseason. Still, Brown's lethal 3-point shooting (2.1 makes per game, 44.1 percent shooting as a senior) will help a Grizzlies team that ranked middle of the pack offensively and 22nd in 3-point field goal percentage and 29th in 3-point field goals per game last year. He'll have ample time to learn the game defensively, too, playing behind Green and Tony Allen, while adding some offensive spark from beyond the arc.

26. San Antonio Spurs

R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State: Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Marco Belinelli are all free agents this offseason, meaning the aging Spurs will need to get younger on the wing. That's where a player like Hunter could come in handy. Known for his 3-pointer to beat Baylor in last year's NCAA Tournament, Hunter has prototypical size (6-foot-6, 185 pounds) and numbers (253 3-pointers in three seasons) to be a spot-up shooter on the perimeter. His passing would need some work playing in a system like Gregg Popovich's, but even if he never becomes more than a player like Belinelli was on the Spurs' championship team he'll be worth this selection. Having played for his father at the collegiate level, he should have no problem fitting in under Pop.

27. Los Angeles Lakers

Tyus Jones, PG, Duke: It seems all too fitting that Jones would link back up with Okafor - the two were a package deal to Durham last season - but the 6-foot-1 point guard also makes sense for the Lakers. They may have something in last year's second-round pick Jordan Clarkson, but Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price are both free agents this offseason. In Jones the Lakers would get a player not afraid of the big moment, a lethal transition point guard and, for the time being, a solid second-unit floor general. With L.A.'s current prospects, selecting the best player available makes sense. And if Jones slips this far due to his height and defensive concerns, he'd best the best on the board here.

28. Boston Celtics

Robert Upshaw, C, Washington: The Celtics stay the defensive course with their second pick in the first round, taking a flier on this year's biggest wild card. Upshaw twice was kicked off college programs (Fresno State and Washington) but his talent is undeniable. A young Celtics team may not be the best environment for a player in Upshaw who will need a veteran mentor in his corner, but Brad Stevens should be up for the task. Boston selected Marcus Smart with the No. 6 pick last season, and while his situation was far different from Upshaw's, Stevens still held the combative point guard in check. With the Celtics needing help inside, Upshaw and the 4.5 blocks per game he averaged last year are worth the risk.

29. Brooklyn Nets

Delon Wright, PG, Utah: The Nets would much rather be selected at No. 15 then here, though they had to swap picks with the Hawks as part of the Joe Johnson deal. Still, they're lucky to nab a player who, if two years younger, likely would be getting consideration at the late end of the lottery. The 6-foot-6 Wright is excellent on the offensive end who controlled the Utes offense to the Sweet 16 this past season. His outside shot needs some work, especially if he's going to play some off the ball, but he'd have two excellent mentors in Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack if Brooklyn pulls the trigger on the 23-year-old senior.

30. Golden State Warriors

Chris McCollough, PF, Syracuse: The NBA champs are set to bring back Draymond Green, meaning their core will be intact for another season. That means Steve Kerr's group can take a project with high upside and move him along slowly. McCollough suffered a torn ACL during his freshman season, but the upside he possesses (and ability to play up-tempo) give the Warriors a low-risk pick as they gun for a second straight title. He needs a lot of work (and must get healthy first) but the Warriors are looking to get younger on the interior and could have a hidden gem in McCollough.

NBA Buzz: Will another Chicago homecoming pay off for Bulls?

NBA Buzz: Will another Chicago homecoming pay off for Bulls?

Bulls' public address announcer Tommy Edwards is already getting his familiar introduction ready for next season. "Froooooom CHICAGO, a 6'8" forward, Jabari Parker!

Not sure if Parker has the resume to be introduced last for Bulls' home games this season, but there will be plenty of fanfare regardless of where he falls among the starting five. After all, Parker was a part of four straight state championship teams at Chicago's Simeon H.S., earning national prep player of the year honors along the way. And, he's been recognized for his tireless charitable work, including an essay in the Player's Tribune proclaiming his desire to be a factor in creating a safer environment in his hometown. 

Parker is articulate and driven to succeed, which will make him a go-to guy for members of the Chicago media during the upcoming season. Question is, can he succeed where so many other Chicago prep stars have failed? You know the names. Derrick Rose, Eddy Curry, Dwyane Wade, Hersey Hawkins, Dave Corzine, Cazzie Russell and even our own Kendall Gill. All Chicago area high school stars looking to replicate that greatness playing for the Bulls. But none of them were part of an NBA championship team in their hometown.

So, what will expectations be like for the 23 year old Parker? The No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft has already come back from two separate ACL tears in his left knee, which effectively removed him from the list of young players projected as future All-Stars. Still, Parker was averaging over 20 points a game for the Bucks before his second ACL injury in February of 2017, and he came back this past season with his trademark explosiveness at the rim still very much intact.

It's obvious playing for his hometown Bulls has always been a goal for Parker, but will the fit on the court be as good as his fit in the Chicago community?

Parker, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn are all at their best with the basketball in their hands, which means the coaching staff will have to be creative in finding ways to feature all three of those players, plus the frontcourt duo of Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. 

The best solution will be to push the pace to get early shot clock scoring opportunities. Parker is at his best running the floor for fastbreak lay-ups and dunks, and you can the bet the Bulls’ coaches are excited to see Dunn pushing the ball upcourt with Parker, LaVine and Markkanen running the wings. Fred Hoiberg wants to see his players get into a flow offense coming out of the initial attack in transition and when Carter Jr. is on the floor, the Bulls will have five athletic players, 24 years old or younger to get into secondary actions. 

Defense will be the biggest issue in the upcoming season. Parker and LaVine ranked near the bottom of the league among wing defenders in the analytics breakdowns from last season, and their ability to stay in front of talented shooting guards and small forwards will be a nightly key to the Bulls' success. Carter Jr. showed tremendous potential as a shot-blocker during Summer League games, but he can't be expected to block everything if opposing wings are getting straight line drives to the rim. 

So, where does this new-look Bulls team figure in the East? It's hard to project a win total for a team as young as the Bulls, but it's clear they have enough talent on the roster to see a double-digit increase over last season's 27 victories. 41 wins could be good enough to grab the last playoff spot in the East, so if everything comes together for the Bulls next season, they should be playing meaningful games in March and early April. 

Did you see LeBron James show up at the Vegas Summer League wearing a $500 pair of Lakers' customized shorts? I guess James wanted to make sure everyone knew he had switched teams this summer, and those shorts are now the hottest items in L.A. sports merchandise shops. 

As for the basketball fit, James has already met with Lakers' coach Luke Walton and seems satisfied with the jumbled roster he'll be leading in the upcoming season. James isn't expected to speak publicly on his latest move until the end of the month, but apparently he's been assured the Lakers will be bringing in another superstar at some point, either in the trade market or 2019 free agency. 

Magic Johnson must be confident he can sign Kawhi Leonard next summer, but after watching Paul George state his desire to join the Lakers, then change his mind and re-sign in Oklahoma City, Lakers' fans will be understandably cautious about projecting him as LeBron's running mate for the 2019-20 season. 
Maybe that other All-Star caliber player is already on the Lakers' roster. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are versatile forwards who have the potential to become 20 points per game scorers in the league, while Lonzo Ball could be an elite facilitator at the point guard position. And, the Lakers' other 1st round pick from the 2017 draft, Josh Hart, was just voted Summer League MVP, an honor that went to Ball a year ago. 

Hart is a 6'5" shooting guard who averaged 7.9 points as a rookie, connecting on 47% of his shots from the field and 40% from the 3 point line. He poured in 37 points Monday night to lead the Lakers to an overtime win over Cleveland in the Summer League semi-finals. The former Villanova star will compete with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson for minutes at the shooting guard position opposite the point guard tandem of Ball and Rajon Rondo.

It's an odd roster put together by Magic and GM Rob Pelinka, but adding James to the mix should almost guarantee 50 wins and a top five seed in the West. 
Here's a look at the All-NBA Summer League team voted on by media members in Las Vegas.

Wendell Carter Jr.  (BULLS)
Josh Hart                 (Lakers)
Collin Sexton           (Cavs)
Kevin Knox              (Knicks)
Christian Wood       (Bucks)

Top five draft picks Deandre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Trae Young were voted to the 2nd team. 

We've already told you about Carter Jr. and Hart, but Sexton impressed all the NBA people on hand in Vegas with his speed in the open court and his ability to get to the rim. There was some discussion in the Bulls' draft room about possibly taking Sexton with the No. 7 overall pick, and he was quickly snapped up by the Cavs after Carter Jr. went to the Bulls.

In the post-Lebron, post-Kyrie era in Cleveland, finding a dynamic point guard to run the show was absolutely crucial for GM Koby Altman and it looks like the Cavs have their man in the ultra-competitive Sexton, who famously almost beat the University of Minnesota by himself when his Alabama team was forced to play three-against-five during a Thanksgiving tournament game last season. 

Cleveland will be looking to shed some of the bad contracts on the roster like Tristan Thompson, George Hill and J.R. Smith, and veterans Kevin Love and Kyle Korver could be on the move as well. Sexton is a quality piece to start the rebuild, but I don't think the Cavs should count on winning the No. 1 overall pick three times in four years like they did the last time LeBron left.
Finally, don't put too much stock into the Sporting News report listing the Bulls as one of the teams showing interest in free agent center Jahlil Okafor. The former Whitney Young H.S. star worked out for four teams in Las Vegas last week, but the Bulls were not in attendance. Okafor will probably have to sign for the NBA minimum this season to re-establish some value around the league.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft is in great shape and is trying to prove he's more than just a low-post scorer. Okafor played sparingly in Brooklyn after he was acquired in a mid-season trade with Philadelphia. He's averaged 12.9 points and 5.3 rebounds over his three-year NBA career. 

The Bulls are already overloaded at the center position with Carter Jr., Robin Lopez, Cristiano Felicio and Omer Asik. 

Bulls interested in Jahlil Okafor?


Bulls interested in Jahlil Okafor?

A report via Sporting News writer Sean Deveney surfaced early on Tuesday morning, stating that the Bulls possibly have interest in free agent big man Jahlil Okafor. 

Deveny stated:

According to sources, Okafor, the No. 3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, worked out for four teams last Wednesday in Las Vegas, and remains hopeful of signing with a team ahead of training camp next fall.

The Pacers were listed along with the Bulls as teams that could be looking at Okafor, though neither team was at his summer workouts in Las Vegas.

From a public relations standpoint, the Bulls could sell the idea of having a roster with multiple IHSA champions. It would be a feel-good story, with Okafor and Parker joining a young and developing core. But from an on-court perspective, the move makes little sense.

Chicago has a clogged frontcourt rotation that includes Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis, Robin Lopez, Cristiano Felicio and No. 7 overall pick Wendell Carter Jr. And while Parker is likely going to play the majority of his minutes on the wing, he will see time at the four and possibly five as well in spot minutes. Okafor has proven to be a capable low-post scorer and little else at this stage in his career.

Okafor has averaged 12.9 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game, but has only played 131 games over three seasons. He struggled to get minutes last year with the Sixers or the Brooklyn Nets (12.6 minutes per game in 2017-18). His continued poor defense and lack of rebounding prowess were the main reasons why.

He had a 59.3 true shooting percentage in his 26 games with the Nets, as well as 18.2 points per 36 minutes. But his defensive rating of 110 points given up per 100 possessions would do little to help a Bulls team that currently lacks established defensive centers sans Lopez. Even on a minimum contract, an Okafor signing would likely signal a forthcoming trade from the Bulls. In today’s NBA, having four centers on your roster would be ridiculous, no matter how good the narrative is.