By the time the second round of the draft rolls around, fans generally lose interest. It’s hard not to blame them. By that point in the draft most of the big names are already out and most of the time teams strike out on whoever they draft anyways. But the second round remains just as important as the first as there are still gems like Manu Ginobli, Marc Gasol Chandler Parsons, Carlos Boozer, Omer Asik, Dennis Rodman, and Willis Reed to be found. The teams that have done their homework generally reap the rewards of their search. I do not know who Gar Foreman and the front office are targeting, but the following are two players likely to be drafted in the second round or make it to free agency that I believe the Bulls should make a run at:
Nate Wolters- South Dakota State University
Nate Wolters was the star player for the Jackrabbits this past season and led them with very solid scoring numbers. Because of the weak conference he played in the numbers are obviously inflated, but I still believe Wolters can carve out a consistent role in the NBA. Defensively, Wolters isn’t anything great and is likely an average defender at best. To me this isn’t too much of a problem as the reason to draft Wolters lies solely with his offense. In his career at SDSU, Wolters has exhibited a great basketball IQ and rarely makes bad decisions. While his role at SDSU was to act as a scorer, his above-average court vision has allowed him to make the right play time in and time out. The biggest reason I believe Chicago should draft Wolters though is his ability to create a shot and shoot the three. As the primary offensive option in college, Wolters has developed a consistent shot off of the dribble and in spot-up situations. He’s shown that he can extend this ability to the NBA three point line. While he may not be able to use his abilities as much in the NBA given the level of players he’ll be facing, he can still be a valuable threat that helps stretch the floor. Wolters is listed as a point guard, a position the Bulls already have an overflow of. However, at 6’4 Wolters could be pushed to play a backup shooting guard role the way Kirk Hinrich occasionally does. In all likelihood, Wolters wouldn’t even see the floor his first year under Tom Thibodeau which would simply open things up for him to take over Kirk Hinrich’s role in a year.
I’m obviously very high on Wolters and would love to see the Bulls make a move to get him. Given he’d be a second round pick it’d simply be a low risk high reward move. If you’d like to read a more in depth analysis on Wolters, something I would suggest, take a look at this breakdown and comparison of Wolters’s game to Trey Burke’s by Dylan Burkhardt. In the charts, Wolters is denoted in light blue.
Dwayne Davis- Southern Missisippi
I’ll admit it… I’m a sucker for a feel good story. Nothing engrosses me more than hearing about a player who has endured hardship at a young age and has overcome all of the challenges to get into a position where they can succeed. A couple of seasons ago that player was Jimmy Butler. This year it’s Dwayne Davis. I won’t get into specifics about Davis’s past. You can read about that in Jeff Eisenberg’s post on “The Dagger.”
With only one season of college ball under his belt, it’s hard to gauge just how skilled Davis is and how he’ll perform in the NBA. From what I’ve seen though (mostly highlight films and box scores), Davis is a good ball handler who can get to the rim well and create his own shot. He also exhibits pretty good range and can help spread the floor somewhat. His abilities and statistics are likely inflated from playing in a weaker conference and there are concerns that his skills may not translate to the much more difficult NBA. However, as noted in many instances in the Eisenberg article on him, Davis is a tireless worker who has put forth the effort in recent years. Call it a hunch, but should Davis make it onto Chicago’s roster, I’m confident his drive and work ethic will make him into a solid player who can contribute to the teams success.
As of now the Bulls have already had dinner with Davis which likely shows interest on their part. All that’s left to do is see how everything pans out for Davis. Regardless of whether he’s drafted or brought in via free agency, I’d love to see the Bulls give him a chance.