Bulls

NBA Draft Profile: Michigan State F Branden Dawson

branden-dawson-nba-draft-profile-slide-for-06-22.png

NBA Draft Profile: Michigan State F Branden Dawson

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.

Branden Dawson, F, Michigan State

6'7" | 230 lbs. | 22 years old

2014-15 stats:

11.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.2 steals, 53.5 field-goal percentage

Projection:

Late second round/undrafted

Quotable:

"A lot of coaches and GMs were concerned about my position, going from the 4 to the 3, but I played the 3 my freshman and sophomore season. And we had to make that adjustment of me going to the 4 because of the team. I've been working on things as far as my weaknesses, my ballhandling, decision making, shooting. I just want to show people that I'm comfortable playing the 3. The 3 for me is not something that I've never been or never played."

Fit for the Bulls:

Size, size, size. That's the No. 1 topic of conversation when it comes to Dawson and his NBA prospects because the 6-foot-7 power forward who led the Big Ten in rebounding last season is telling NBA teams he wants to be a small forward. And that's a smart move because as impressive a big man and rebounder as he was the last two seasons at Michigan State, his 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame likely won't cut it as an NBA power forward. The problem, though, is that Dawson seems to be a much better power forward than a small forward, he's just trapped in a small forward's body. His rebounding and defensive effort — be it stripping the ball or blocking shots on the perimeter — were terrific in college. His offense, though, left a lot to be desired. He came through by scoring inside and hitting floaters in the paint, but among the trees at the NBA level, those ways of scoring the basketball might not work for the 6-foot-7 Dawson. That'll likely scare plenty of NBA teams away this week. As for the Bulls, a small forward is probably going to be on their wish list, but with new head coach Fred Hoiberg brought in to better the offense, it would make sense that the Bulls wouldn't look to Dawson, who has a bunch of offensive question marks.

Our first look at the full NBA 2K20 roster models for the 2019-20 Bulls

lavine_thumb.jpg
USA TODAY

Our first look at the full NBA 2K20 roster models for the 2019-20 Bulls

The release date of NBA 2K20 is near and as the September 6 release date gets closer, Bulls fans are finally getting a look at the full roster in video game form. 

Among the things that stand out in the video from Sports & Gaming Journalist Brian Mazique, the things that stood out the most was the new Zenni patch on the Bulls uniforms, which now has a light blue background to make the patch stand out a bit more. 

We had already seen how 2019 rookies Coby White and Daniel Gafford look but Thursday represented our first look at players like new Bulls Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky and the longest-tenured Bull, Brazilian big man Cristiano Felicio.

Young currently sports a short-haircut after having more an afro in the 2019 season, so only time will tell if 2K will update his look before the season kicks off on October 22. 

Also fully visible in the video are the overall 2K ratings of all players on the team including Satoransky (75), Young (79), Wendell Carter Jr. (78), Otto Porter (80), Lauri Markkanen (83) and Zach LaVine (85).

Based off of what we see in the video, NBA fans can expect to see the Bulls simulate pretty well in NBA 2K20 as the roster's veteran talent will provide some balance as the young core develops, much like what the Bulls front office is hoping for in real life. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Lauri Markkanen makes the top 35 NBCsport's 50 best players in 5 years

markkanen-1202.jpg
USA TODAY

Lauri Markkanen makes the top 35 NBCsport's 50 best players in 5 years

Over the summer the NBA team over at NBC Sports undertook a fun project in which they ranked the top 50 talents in the NBA in 2024. 

NBCSports.com's 50 best players in 5 years list is an interesting snapshot into the future of the league. Writers included Dan FeldmanTom HaberstrohRob DausterTommy BeerSteve Alexander, and Kurt Helin

While it is was fun to see where aging versions of Steph Curry (36 in 2024) and Klay Thomspon (34 in 2024) rank, the most interesting names on the list were the young talents who are projected to stars in the near future. Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen made the top 35, coming in at No. 34 on the list.

In the 2024 season, Markkanen will be 27 years old and theoretically, smack dab in the middle of his prime.

Coming into the 2019-20 season, 'The Finnisher' is on quite a roll. In his age-21 season, he averaged 20.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes and posted a career-best 55.3 true shooting percentage. 

The Bulls will need to Markkanen to step up his effort in terms of defense and rebounding, with the absence of Robin Lopez putting more stress on the frontcourt to pick up the slack in that department. Kurt Hellin acknowledged that if he can focus on consistency and commitment to D, the sky is truly the limit for Markkanen. 

The question is, can he [Markkanen] reach that ceiling consistently? He’s only 22, but he has yet to come anywhere near that.....If Markkanen can become a more consistent offensive force and better on the defensive end — he’s not a bad defender, he’s okay, but with his length and athleticism he should be a better rim protector — he can take over the role as the alpha on the Bulls

See the rest of NBCSports.com's 50 best players in 5 years list below:

Players 50-46

Players 45-41

Players 40-36

Players 35-31