Five 2020 Draft Targets for the Chicago Bulls
Analyzing a few names the Bulls should consider drafting in 2020.
The Chicago Bulls currently have the ninth-worst record in the NBA. Oddly enough, they also sit just 3.5 games back from the playoffs because the Eastern Conference is garbage. The upcoming trade deadline should give fans some clarity regarding whether the Bulls want to push for that eighth seed so they can lose to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round or if they want to remain in the lottery picture.
This article will be based on their current position in the draft, as the Bulls are projected to have the ninth overall pick if the season ended today. With that being said, let’s look at five 2020 draft targets for the Chicago Bulls.
Target One: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
- Height: 6’8
- Weight: 215
- Age: 18
Rationale: Avdija is arguably the best wing in the draft, and that happens to be the Bulls’ biggest area of need. With Otto Porter Jr.’s health a big concern and very little wing depth outside of him, Avdija could step in and possibly get big minutes in his first season in the NBA. While Avdija is young and does not get big minutes with Maccabi Tel Aviv, he does what he’s asked. He led Israel to a U20 European Championship title in 2019 while averaging 18.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 5.3 APG.
Avdija has point guard-like skills handling the ball, plays unselfishly, and could fit in well in Chicago as someone who can be a primary ball-handler with Coby White and/or Zach LaVine playing more off the ball to take the pressure off of them.
He’s versatile, which is a plus, but Avdija does come with concerns. His three-point shooting and free-throw shooting are subpar at best, and that is cause for concern. Chicago needs a wing to space the floor, and Avdija’s fluctuating form may mean he will never be a guy who will hit shots from deep at a decent clip. You can check out an in-depth write up on Avidija from fellow On Tap Sports Net contributor Buzz right here.
Target Two: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State, Sophomore
- Height: 6’5
- Weight: 175
- Age: 20
Rationale: The Bulls have LaVine and White as their guards of the future, but neither one of them excels as a distributor. Enter Haliburton, the Iowa State guard who is averaging 15.9 PPG and 7.8 APG while shooting nearly 50% from the field and 40% from deep. With a seven-foot wingspan, Haliburton is also a defensive menace, nabbing 2.7 SPG.
With his size and length, Haliburton can be a lead guard or play off the ball, giving the Bulls an interesting backcourt rotation with Tomas Satoransky, LaVine, and White. He would be an upgrade from Kris Dunn and would be a great rotational piece for Chicago.
Target Three: Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington, Freshman
- Height: 6’10
- Weight: 200
- Age: 19
Rationale: McDaniels projects to be a better version of Thaddeus Young, which means he can fulfill that two-way forward role on the Bulls if they look to move Young, which they should. Furthermore, Lauri Markkanen has been underachieving all season long, so the future of the Bulls at the four is ambiguous at best.
Though his frame is wiry, McDaniels is a long (8-11 standing reach) forward who could turn into an elite defender. He shoots around 35% from deep, but as only a 73% free throw shooter, there will be questions about his ability to develop a solid three-point shot at the NBA level. He might not be a guy who develops into a superstar, but he would contribute plenty to the Bulls rotation going forward as a guy who can play and defend the three and the four.
Target Four: Obi Toppin, F, Dayton, Sophomore
- Height: 6’9
- Weight: 220
- Age: 21
Rationale: Toppin is an intriguing prospect who can also play that stretch-four role that the Bulls value. While he doesn’t quite have the level of agility that McDaniels has, he runs the floor well and finishes strong at the basket. He’s a career 39% three-point shooter in college, too, so he can space the floor well.
Toppin’s wingspan (6-10.5) leaves something to be desired, but because of his leaping ability, he still does a solid job protecting the rim. He has nice shot-blocking instincts and could remind you of someone like Daniel Gafford with a jump shot. He could also fill Thaddeus Young’s minutes if Young is moved this season or in the offseason.
Target Five: Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm
- Height: 6’5
- Weight: 192
- Age: 18
Rationale: Hayes is another European prospect who could bring an element to the Bulls that they don’t currently have a lot of — facilitating. On the season, Hayes is averaging 10.9 PPG and 5.3 APG while shooting nearly 48% from the floor. He has the size and the skills to help out with the guard rotation as either a lead guard or a two.
His three-point shooting is only at 32.5% on the season, but his free throw percentage is 87.5%, so there’s hope for his shot to keep developing. He would also be a case in which you’re betting on potential. It’s possible he becomes another guard who needs the ball in his hand to make an impact, which would limit his time on the court with other ball-dominant guards like LaVine and White.
Who do you want the Chicago Bulls to target in the 2020 draft? Obviously, it all depends on where they actually end up in the draft order. Let me know in the comments or chat with me on Twitter: @BullsGuyRob