Mo Bamba

2018 NBA Mock Draft: All the right pieces fall in place for Bulls

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USA TODAY

2018 NBA Mock Draft: All the right pieces fall in place for Bulls

The NBA Draft is a little more than two weeks away, and teams are beginning to host private workouts for some of the top prospects. Here's our next stab at a mock draft. It's what we believe teams should do when they go on the clock on June 21. 

1. Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, C, Arizona

The Suns don't need to overthink this one. Ayton was the second freshman since 1993 to average 20 points, 11 rebounds and shoot 60 percent from the field. He's a force inside and his versatile offensive game is Day 1 ready. He'll also be one of the league's biggest players at 7-foot-1, 260 pounds. Even if he never develops into an elite defender he will more than hold his own as a scorer and someone who regularly impacts the game. He's a can't-miss prospect.

2. Sacramento Kings: Luka Doncic, PG, Slovenia

Let's not overthink this one, either. De'Aaron Fox improved as the year went on and looks every bit the team's point guard of the future. That shouldn't stop a talent-depleted organization from taking the best player left in the draft. Doncic, at 19 years old, was named MVP of the world's second best league and was a terror at EuroBasket 2017, playing against multiple NBA players and helping Goran Dragic and Slovenia to a gold medal. They'll make Fox/Doncic work.

3. Atlanta Hawks: Jaren Jackson, C, Michigan State

They have a keeper in John Collins, last year's first-round pick. Adding the most versatile big men remaining in the class would serve as a great complement to Collins, who attempted nearly 60 percent of his shots at the rim and more than 75 percent from 10 feet and in. That will play, so long as there's another big with him who can space the floor. That's Jackson, who shot 50 percent from top of the key 3-pointers and had a better block rate than Texas' Mo Bamba as a freshman with the Spartans.

4. Memphis Grizzlies: Michael Porter Jr., F, Missouri

The biggest question mark in the class because of the back surgery that kept him out of all but three games this past season, Porter is still worthy of a top-5 pick. This presumes that Porter's medicals check out and teams are comfortable enough with his back to invest in him long-term. It helps, too, that Memphis is lacking in versatility on the wing after the Chandler Parsons experiment fell flat on its face, ironically because Parsons couldn't stay healthy.

5. Dallas Mavericks: Marvin Bagley, PF, Duke

Dallas loves its advanced stats as much as it loves its athleticism. The Mavericks get both in Bagley, who in this author's opinion is the best talent in the class. Pairing point guard Dennis Smith Jr. with Bagley creates a versatile, lightning-quick 1-2 punch that should be deadly in pick-and-roll scenarios. All Bagley did as a freshman was lead Duke in every major scoring and rebounding category, win ACC Player of the Year (and Rookie of the Year) and was the first player since Blake Griffin in 2009 to average 21 points, 11 rebounds and shoot 61 percent from the field.

6. Orlando Magic: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

Orlando needs help everywhere, but especially at the point. Their current depth chart is 30-year-old D.J. Augustin and 28-year-old Shelvin Mack. Once you're done chuckling consider that Young made history as a freshman at Oklahoma and would almost certainly improve his efficiency surrounded by shooters in Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon (to an extent), while working pick-and-roll action with Nikola Vucevic. Orlando also has the length defensively to hide Young; they were 13th in the NBA defensively after dealing Elfrid Payton at the trade deadline.

7. Chicago Bulls: Mo Bamba, C, Texas

Yes, it's best-case scenario for the Bulls as the freakishly long unicorn falls to them at No. 7. Bamba made headlines for his shot-blocking ability but his rebounding might have been even more impressive; his 28.2% defensive rebound rate was 15th in the country, and he scored on 71 of his 96  offensive rebounds. He also has an expanding offensive game, making him an intriguing fit with the Bulls. At the very least he improves a Bulls defense ranked 28th in the NBA last year; at best he becomes Rudy Gobert with 3-point touch. The upside here is outrageous.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers (via BRK): Mikal Bridges, SF, Villanova

Let's assume LeBron James leaves in free agency. The Cavaliers need plenty of help on the wing, especially defensively. Rodney Hood and Jeff Green are free agents, and the possibility of a Kyle Korver retirement exists. Enter Bridges, a prototype 3-and-D wing who would take on a large role in the absence of James. Bridges was one of four players in college hoops last year to make 2.5 3-pointers on 43% shooting or better, and he was the anchor of a Wildcats defense that ranked 11th in the country a year ago. He has perhaps the highest floor of any top 10 prospect not named Ayton.

9. New York Knicks: Wendell Carter, PF, Duke

There isn't a better player/team fit in the draft than Carter to the Knicks. Pairing the 6-foot-10 Carter with Kristaps Porzingis gives New York an even more secure defensive frontcourt, and Carter's post presence allows more freedom for the Unicorn to roam the perimeter. They're a match made in heaven, and if Frank Ntilikina can make a second-year jump the Knicks will be back in playoff contention. Enes Kanter declining his $18.6 million player option would help Carter's growth, but even a year to learn under Kanter would do the rookie some good. This is a perfect situation.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (via LAL): Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

Ben Simmons is the point guard of the future. Duh. And they did take Markelle Fultz first overall a year ago. But there's plenty of versatility to go around in that backcourt, as both Sexton and Fultz could play off the ball. T.J. McConnell needs to be paid after the 2018-19 season, and Jerryd Bayless is off the books in a year, too. This seems like an odd fit, but picking the best talent available seems like the right move for a Sixers team that moves pieces around as well as any team in the league. Brett Brown will find a spot for Sexton and Fultz to mesh with Simmons.

11. Charlotte Hornets: Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky

Best player available. It shouldn't be a difficult decision for the Hornets when they're on the clock. They're on the hook for nearly $120 million in contracts next season, so whoever they draft will likely get a grace period year like Malik Monk received this past year. Going back to the Kentucky well and drafting a scorer in Knox seems like a good bet. He's solid insurance if the Hornets decide to walk away from Jeremy Lamb in a year and gives Kemba Walker a potential second scorer they've been in search of for years.

12. LA Clippers (via DET): Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

A no-brainer here. The Clippers are in search of their next great point guard after dealing Chris Paul. Gilgeous-Alexander is the best point guard remaining and might wind up being the best of the class. He's 6-foot-6, gets in the lane and shot well, albeit on a limited number of attempts. He also has a near-7-foot wingspan (6-foot-11.5) and will be able to defend easily at the next level. Whatever he becomes offensively, either as a pass-first guard or shooter, is an added bonus. Taking a Kentucky point guard is always a good decision (as long as it isn't Marquis Teague).

13. LA Clippers: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

The Clips' shooting guard position is a bit of a mess. Lou Williams exploded in his first year in L.A., but Austin Rivers is a more natural fit at the point (and will be a free agent in a year) and Sindarius Thornwell, who averaged 21.8 minutes after the All-Star break, is a stopgap. The Clippers' Achilles heel has always been its depth, and getting Smith, who is more athlete than basketball player right now, improves it. He'll mesh as a complement to the scoring-oriented Williams. These are important picks for Doc Rivers after they swindled the Pistons in the Blake Griffin trade in February.

14. Denver Nuggets: Lonnie Walker, PG, Miami

Another combo guard for Mike Malone and one who will defend at a high level creates a perfect fit. the Nuggets exploded offensively but also finished the year ranked 26th in defensive efficiency. Having a bouncy defender in Walker, capable of defending both guard positions, gives them both a replacement for impending free agent Will Barton and backup point guard Devin Harris. Walker will make a Day 1 impact wherever he lands.

15. Washington Wizards: Robert Williams, PF, Texas A&M

There's no denying Williams' talent as a basketball player. Whether he can harness that talent and continue to progress is another. A team will roll the dice on Williams, a sophomore who never played to his potential with the Aggies, and it could be a Wizards team that needs more young, athletic scoring in the frontcourt. Williams is a Lottery talent. If he puts it all together he becomes the steal of the class. A coach like Scott Brooks could certainly tap into that potential.

16. Phoenix Suns (via MIA): Anfernee Simons, G, IMG Academy

The Suns won the Lottery and the opportunity to draft a can't-miss prospect in Ayton. Now they get to swing for the fences on their second pick in the first round. Simons was a five-star prospect who opted for prep school over Louisville in the wake of Rick Pitino's firing. It's tough to get a read on Simons, other than he'll probably need some time in the G-League before he's ready to contribute. Simons fits with Phoenix's up-tempo style and has elite athleticism, jumping 41.5 inches at last month's Combine.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Chandler Hutchinson, SF, Boise State

Don't be surprised if Hutchinson rises as draft night nears. He's already 22 - ancient in today's NBA - but was a 20-point scorer with the ability to defend multiple positions. There's a real chance the Bucks say good bye to Jabari Parker this summer, leaving a void on the wing. Tony Snell and Sterling Brown are more perimter threats, whereas Hutchinson has the ability to play "up" a position. Hutchinson has "rock-solid pick" written all over him, which is good for a Bucks team that's taken quite a few draft risks the last few seasons with mixed results.

18. San Antonio Spurs: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Bridges' tweener status could cause him to fall on draft night. He's a pure scorer, has elite athleticism and improved as a leader by staying an additional year at Michigan State. By all accounts he's more ready now than he would have been if he entered the draft as a freshman. The problem is he's still 6-foot-6 without a true position, doesn't have a great handle and lacks any real quickness. So, of course, Gregg Popovich and the Spurs will turn him into a four-time All-Star.

19. Atlanta Hawks (via MIN): Dzanan Musa, SF, Bosnia

With three selections in the first round it's likely the Hawks will use one of their picks on a stash. Musa is considered the second best International prospect after Doncic, and he fits the bill for the Hawks as a lanky, scoring wing. His frame needs filling out but the talent is there to make him a first-round prospect. Per ESPN, Musa was the sixth teenager in the Adriatic League to average 20 points per 40 minutes. The other five were all NBA contributors: Goran Dragic, Nikola Jokic, Dario Saric, Ante Zizic and Jusuf Nurkic.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Defense, defense, defense. The Timberwolves' offense is set with Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler. One would think that latter name meant their defense was set, but that's been anything but true. Tom Thibodeau desperately needs to improve on Minnesota's 22nd ranked defense, and Thomas accomplishes just that. His 6-foot-10 wingspan and quick first step make him someone ready to defend from Day 1. Plus he's already 22 years old so maybe Thibodeau will look past the rookie tag and actually play him.

21. Utah Jazz: Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

Utah struck gold in Donovan Mitchell and can do so again with a player like Bates-Diop. The senior dominated in his final season with the Buckeyes, averaging 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in 33.1 minutes per game. He was named Big Ten Player of the Year and has excellent length as a small forward. He improved his jumper as a senior, which could be the difference in him being a nice defender and a solid rotation player. He fits with Utah and gives them insurance for when players like Jae Crowder, Thabo Sefalosha and Alec Burks come off the books.

22. Chicago Bulls (via NOLA): Landry Shamet, G, Wichita State

The Bulls have arguably the least versatile backcourt in the NBA. When Denzel Valentine is your Swiss army knife, that's an issue. Shamet presents the Bulls with a rare (in their case) skill set of someone able to handle the ball, provide defensive length and shoot well from beyond the arc. In fact, Shamet was the only player in the country to average 5.0 assists, 2.5 3-pointers and shoot 44 percent from deep. He's everything the Bulls are looking for and is also one of the top talents left on the board.

23. Indiana Pacers: Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Huerter made a leap as a sophomore, averaging 14.8 points while making nearly 42 percent of his 175 3-pointers. A strong Combine performance allowed him to keep his name in the draft, and at 6-foot-7 he's got enough length to guard at the next level. Indiana could move on from Lance Stephenson this offseason and replace him with a much better shooter to help a Pacers offense that ranked 25th in 3-point makes and 26th in attempts a year ago.

24. Portland Trail Blazers: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

The NCAA Tournament's biggest winner was also the NBA Draft Combine's biggest winner. DiVincenzo would find himself in a perfect spot in Portland, replacing Shabazz Napier and becoming a combo guard on the second unit. DiVincenzo's stock continues to rise and shows no signs of stopping.

25. Los Angeles Lakers (via CLE): Mitchell Robinson, C, Chalmette High School

The spectrum in which Robinson could be drafted is as wide as any player in the class. He impressed last week in workouts and could see himself rising on draft boards as June 21 nears. But the unknown - he hasn't played in an organized game in more than a year - could scare off general managers, especially in a draft class full of talented big men. Still, Robinson is super athletic with elite size and length, and he has range that extends to the 3-point line. The Lakers are in need of talent everywhere, and gambling on Robinson this late in the first round is a good one.

26. Philadelphia 76ers: Omari Spellman, PF, Villanova

One of the surprise underclassmen to keep his name in the draft, Spellman gets to stay close to school going off the board to the Sixers. He'll act as a replacement for free agent Ersan Ilyasova (and Amir Johnson), becoming the newest pick-and-pop threat in the Philly offense and someone who can also defend on the interior. He's just 6-foot-9 but rebounds well for that lack of elite size and will make his money on the offensive end. He's built for the league after shooting 43 percent from deep as a freshman.

27. Boston Celtics: Josh Okogie, SG, Georgia Tech

The Celtics are set just about everywhere with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving returning to a team that was one win away from an NBA Finals berth. If there was one area they could improve upon it would be off the ball in the backcourt. Marcus Smart is a free agent and may have a price tag too high for the Celtics to match, and Okogie brings a lot of similar defensive traits to the table. He's 6-foot-5, touts a 7-foot wingspan and averaged 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks; he was one of four players in the country to average those defensive numbers. Boston gets a defensive stud at a much cheaper price.

28. Golden State Warriors: Gary Trent, SG, Duke

Does it really matter? The Warriors are set everywhere but if we need to give them more ammunition, let's go with a shooting guard. Both Nick Young and Patrick McCaw will be free agents this summer and likely have priced themselves out of Golden State (unless they want to take discounts to remain with a bordering dynasty). That leaves the Warriors to find another second-unit wing, and Trent shooting 40 percent from deep will obviously serve him well in Oakland.

29. Brooklyn Nets (via TOR): Troy Brown, SG, Oregon

The Nets are flush with players on the wing, including DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Allen Crabbe. None of those players can handle the ball all that well, something Brown would bring to the table off the ball. His jumper was horrid last season but the former five-star recruit has boatloads of potential and the size to pair with it. He's great value this late in the first round, something the Nets need to be looking for until the Boston trade heist is fulfilled.

30. Atlanta Hawks (via HOU): Tre Duval, PG, Duke

The Hawks are betting on potential here. Duval looks the part at 6-foot-3, a 6-foot-8 wingspan and a 195-pound frame. He plays above the rim and has a great first step. That's the good part. The bad part? He shot 29 percent from beyond the arc, 43 percent from the field and didn't reach 60 percent from the free throw line. Simply put, he really struggled as a shooter and needs plenty of work on it before he contributes. The Hawks are hoping his jumper gets fixed.

Best player or need? Texas' Mohamed Bamba could represent best fit next to Lauri Markkanen

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USA TODAY

Best player or need? Texas' Mohamed Bamba could represent best fit next to Lauri Markkanen

Texas big man Mohamed Bamba’s knowledge of the Bulls’ roster was as impressive as his awareness of the concerns teams have expressed about him leading into the upcoming draft.

But the biggest revelation from Bamba may have been the Bulls’ strategy leading to draft night, as one can surmise the franchise will take the player best suited to complement Lauri Markkanen in the frontcourt.

Bamba had one part right in his interview session following an individual workout Friday afternoon: He knew to compliment Markkanen, who was a couple hundred feet away in the Advocate Center getting in a shooting session.

“I think Lauri and I, we're in a sense ... the front court of the future,” Bamba said. “I mean, he can step out and really shoot it really well. That gives me a lot of room to operate down low and start to develop.”

The Bulls’ affection for Markkanen is no secret, as he developed quicker than anyone expected after being the seventh pick in last year’s draft. Seeing him as a franchise cornerstone, it’s not a shock if their strategy to surround him with the best athlete is the main thought.

The Bulls’ ever-coy front office has been queried about taking the best player or player who best fits the current roster for weeks now, and the answer has been the same from John Paxson and Gar Forman.

“Best player,” they would all say.

But Bamba chose Chicago as his first individual workout for a reason, and he knew what would make him an ideal fit if he’s on the board when the Bulls are up with the seventh pick.

“I mean, when you look at all the categories that they struggled in, those were all things that I could step in and help impact like immediately,” Bamba said. “Like they were last or second to in blocked shots and I like to think of myself as a pretty good shot blocker.”

Several scouts and executives have said Bamba’s instincts at rim protection are better than DeAndre Ayton, who’ll likely go first in the draft to Phoenix. But some of the questions around Bamba feel unfair, as big men usually have to deal with concerns about their desire for the game and willingness to play hard all the time.

Bamba intimated his diverse interests wouldn’t be questioned if he were a swingman, bringing up Kobe Bryant’s worldliness as Bryant is fluent in multiple languages.

“You could tell with the drills, they put me through a couple things where we actually really had to battle,” Bamba said. “There’s a misconception about my motor not running as high. But I think I showed that in the workouts today.”

One general manager told NBCSportsChicago.com recently, “Go look at his film. Call me when you see him running hard. It’ll take a while, though. I have no questions about his ability.”

If the Bulls feel satisfied with what they saw and if their top objective is indeed finding a fit next to Markkanen, Bamba could be atop their list.

Drenched in sweat following the workout, Bamba gave a few nuggets that went into it, most notably the lob passes at the rim from the assistant coaches that were a little too low for his liking, perhaps seeing how he could work a high-low game with Markkanen.

“I told ‘em – I encouraged ‘em to throw them a little bit higher,” Bamba said. “They had fun just tossing it up there. It was pretty interactive.”

And with the success the Bulls had at times running Markkanen with Bobby Portis and before his trade to New Orleans, Nikola Mirotic, they wanted to see how much Bamba improved on his outside shot since leaving Texas.

He only attempted 51 3-pointers at Texas, shooting 28 percent.

“We shot a lot of three’s. I shot pretty – I shot okay from the three,” he said. “It’s night and day from when I left Texas to now. My mechanics are a lot smoother. My makes are all net and my misses are landing a lot softer. I’ve improved a lot.”

The shot-blocking element separates Bamba from Portis, who improved his all-around game in his third season, and virtually anyone else on the roster. His seven-foot-nine wingspan is longer than Ayton’s, which aids in the observers’ view of Bamba’s shot blocking.

Even just as important as rim protection is Bamba’s defensive competence on the perimeter. Even though the NBA Finals feature the league’s most versatile defensive team in the Golden State Warriors, they’re no longer the lone special team in the way their bigs can track space against guards and hold their own in a switching league.

It’s not rare to see big men on an island, being expected to hang for at least a few steps before the help defense arrives.

“It’s improving. It’s getting better,” Bamba said. “I thought I demonstrated a lot of good spars at Texas, but I am doing it now at a pretty consistent level. Its just having that mentality of going out there and saying I am going to shut this dude down no matter how big or small he is.”

“They put me through a couple drills where I was first on a guard. I contested. I had to guard them for a little bit in late shot-clock situations. I think I’m going to surprise a lot of people with how much feel I have for the game. That will be something that a lot of people didn’t really get to see much of at Texas, but they’ll get to see it a lot more at the next level where there’s more space.”

Teams won’t get a chance to see him against other big men, as he’ll likely have individual workouts leading into the draft. But he believes this setting is more revealing for his basketball character, and it lessens the chance of a pre-draft injury.

“I’m real confident in where I stand with guys in the front offices of all the teams that I’m looking at,” he said.

If he’s around at seven, the Bulls’ selection will say a lot about how they feel about Bamba’s perception and his ability.

Why the Bulls should bet on potential and draft Jaren Jackson Jr.

Why the Bulls should bet on potential and draft Jaren Jackson Jr.

Previous making the case for: Deandre Ayton | Luka Doncic | Mo Bamba | Marvin Bagley | Michael Porter Jr.

The modern NBA center is transforming. Last season 12 centers (as listed by Basketball Reference) made 50 or more 3-pointers, up from 10 players in 2016-17. The year before that, in 2015-16, five players accomplished that feat. Four players did it in 2014-15, three did it in 2013-14, and from 1990 to 2012 only Mehmet Okur (five times), Channing Frye (three times) and Byron Mullens (once) accomplished it.

Many of the names on that list, however, don’t exactly cut it on the other end. Sure, players like Joel Embiid, Al Horford and Marc Gasol are elite defenders. But repeat 50+ club members also include Karl-Anthony Towns, Marreese Speights, Kelly Olynyk, DeMarcus Cousins and Pero Antic. In other words, players Rudy Gobert won’t have to worry about contending with for Defensive Player of the Year.

But that former list – the Embiid, Horford, Gasol one – could add another member to it in the coming years. Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. was a rarity in college basketball this past season. He became the fifth player since 1992 to compile 35 or more 3-pointers and 100 or more blocks in a single season. Jackson had 38 and 106, respectively, and he accomplished those numbers in 764 minutes; the other four players on the list averaged 1,082 minutes, and the next fewest was Eddie Griffin’s 979 minutes in 2000-01.

Staying on those minutes, Jackson averaged 21.8 per game. That was decidedly fewer per game than Carter (26.9), Bamba (30.2), Ayton (33.5) and Bagley (33.9). We’ll get to why those minutes might be an issue, but for now it’s a reason to not be scared off by his lack of raw numbers (10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks).

Jackson’s block percentage (14.2%) ranked fourth in the country. That was higher than Bamba’s 12.9%, despite Bamba tallying 3.7 blocks per game. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that Jackson was elite as a rim protector. He ranked in the 99th percentile in defensive possessions around the rim, allowing a mere 0.405 PPP. To put that number in context, freshmen Joel Embiid (0.844), Karl-Anthony Towns (0.8) and Myles Turner (0.667) weren’t even close. This past season Bamba allowed a whopping 1.088 PPP in that area, ranking in the 33rd percentile nationally.

Jackson plays bigger than the 236 pounds he weighed in at last week’s NBA Draft Combine. Here’s where we tell you he’ll need to add muscle like all 18-year-olds entering the NBA (oh, he’s also the youngest first-round prospect in the class). But defending the interior shouldn’t be a problem; his defensive rebounding rate wasn’t spectacular (19.8%), but the Spartans were a solid rebounding team as a whole – 76th nationally – so Jackson didn’t need to be great for the Spartans to succeed.

Jackson is going to defend at a high level, and in five years he’ll likely be known more for his defense than his offense. But that’s not to say he doesn’t have potential on that end of the floor. He ranked in the 91st percentile in points per possession (shooting 51 percent from the floor and 40 percent from deep helps), doing his most damage in the post (1.22 PPP, 98th percentile) and on jumpers, which were almost exclusively 3-point attempts (1.09 PPP, 81st). He was even a plus on pick-and-rolls, averaging 1.11 on a limited 27-possession sample size.

But not all 3-pointers are created equally. Consider that Jackson did almost all of his damage beyond the arc from the top of the key. He went 21-for-42 from straightaway, according to Synergy Sports, an absurd percentage on that many attempts. From all other areas he went 17-for-54. But in the pick-and-roll era, Jackson’s ability to pop out to the top of the key after setting a screen, and his confidence to take and make those shots, is priceless.

He needs polish on both ends. That seems like the easy way out, and a generic statement that could be made for all these prospects. But so much of his game is still raw; again, there’s a reason he played just 54 percent of all available minutes, and tallied 15 minutes in the Spartan’s NCAA Tournament loss to Syracuse.

He committed 5.9 fouls per 40 minutes (Bamba committed 4.3, for reference) and he shot just 48 percent on non-dunks inside 6 feet. His post numbers were good because he is nearly 7 feet tall and was always one of the most talented players on the floor. It’ll get tougher at the next level, and he’ll need to improve his feel around the rim as well as his post moves.

It doesn’t appear likely at this point, but there’s still a chance Jackson could fall to the Bulls at 7. We’ll safely assume Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic will be off the board. If Michael Porter’s medicals check out he should go in the top 5, and the other three selections could be Marvin Bagley, Mo Bamba and Trae Young. Young is certainly the least likely of the bunch, but it only takes one team to fall in love with his potential. Orlando at No. 6 is a natural fit.

If he is there at No. 7, he needs to be the Bulls pick. Admittedly this would be less of a decision than some of the other picks we’ll get to in the coming weeks. Allowing Lauri Markkanen to roam the wings while Jackson set picks for Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine would improve the offense drastically. And putting an elite rim protector next to Markkanen only covers up the latter’s weaknesses and, thus, makes him a better player.

If teams fall in love with Bamba’s length, Young’s shooting and Porter’s health, Jackson could be waiting when the Bulls pick at No. 7. He isn’t the wing the front office covets, but he is a two-way player with immense upside.