This NBA season has been interesting to say the least due to the pandemic and the NBA playoff bubble in Florida. The Bulls have found themselves looking toward the offseason as another season has passed where they have failed to make the playoffs. Now that Jim Boylen has been fired, it’s time to address the Bulls’ biggest needs this summer and look ahead to a rather strong draft this fall.
Currently, the Chicago Bulls are projected to hold the seventh overall pick in this the 2020 NBA Draft. It is highly likely that star players such as Lamelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman will be on the board by the time their pick comes around. However, Isaac Okoro, a small forward out of Auburn, will most likely be available at this pick and should be a draft target for the team.
The OPJ Situation
The Bulls currently have a roster comprised of young stars such as Coby White, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and Wendell Carter Jr. If the Bulls are confident that Coby White can be their point guard of the future, then the biggest need is a small forward. They currently have Otto Porter Jr., who they received in a trade from the Washington Wizards in February of 2019.
However, Porter has been a liability due to his inability to stay healthy, which has not allowed the Bulls the chance to play with a full-strength lineup often. Given that Porter will most likely accept his player option this summer, this gives him one additional year with the Bulls before they decide whether to bring him back or not next summer.
Okoro is a Natural Fit
Finding a replacement for a two-way wing player is difficult. Isaac Okoro is a player who can develop into the two-way player the Bulls need. This past season at Auburn, Okoro averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and about one steal per game, while shooting 51.4% from the field. What really stands out is Okoro’s defensive ability. He has tremendous length and instincts, which help him guard a range of players and stay in front of them. Additionally, Okoro makes tremendous hustle plays on the defensive end that can spark some fight within his teammates. Just take a look at this block against Alabama.
Okoro would be a natural fit with the Bulls. He can easily handle the small forward spot and guard the opposing team’s best player. While his shooting isn’t great, he can definitely improve. With LaVine, White, and Markkanen handling the offensive responsibilities, Okoro can focus on helping on the defensive end and improving his offensive game gradually. He has a similar game to Tayshaun Prince. Prince was never known for scoring, but his defensive abilities were never questioned. Drafting Okoro would add someone with tremendous potential and one who can become an efficient two-way player in the future.