With the draft less than two weeks away, the rumors are flowing about who’s going where, which teams dislike which players and so on and so on.
In today’s age of social media and instant news, you’d be a fool to believe half of the rumors you see or hear. Drafts are weird and complex. Teams leak misinformation, sometimes the media is higher on a player than the league is, players with past health issues sometimes slip farther than we expect, etc.
The point is, a player that’s consistently mocked outside of the top 10 could still be very much in play for the Bulls at 7. If they do “reach” with their pick, drafting an athletic wing with upside makes a lot of sense. Both Miles Bridges from Michigan State and Kevin Knox from Kentucky fit that mold.
We know that the Bulls have Bridges on their radar.
— ChicagoSports (@ChicagoSports) June 6, 2018
Bridges’ biggest red flag is that he isn’t even a full 6’7, which is pretty short for a small forward in today’s game. However, the sport is moving more and more towards a positionless game which could help Bridges in the long run.
Bridges scored the ball consistently and efficiently in his two seasons at Michigan State, averaging 17 points with a 54. eFG%. He shot an encouraging 37.5% from three and averaged 7.6 rebounds a game, both skills that will need to follow him to the NBA in order for him to be successful.
His high volume approach (27.2 usage rate, 5.5 3-point FGA per game) and top-notch athleticism should give him a good chance to translate what he did best in college in the NBA as well.
His surname equivalent Mikal Bridges has been ranked slightly higher throughout the pre-draft process by most, but Miles could easily end up being the better player. Sometimes you have to take a risk on a high ceiling prospect in order to speed up a rebuild and that’s exactly what the Bulls could do by drafting Miles Bridges.
Speaking of high ceilings…
I don’t know if I’ve seen a single mock draft with Kevin Knox going earlier than 10th. I don’t quite understand the reason for that.
He’s raw, which means he’s flawed. But all these prospects are, and I disagree with the notion that Knox’s flaws are more numerous or severe than many of the players that will hear their name called before he will.
He doesn’t turn 19 until August. He can handle, run the floor, defend, rebound and finish. He’s learning how to shoot. He’s 6’9 with a 7-foot wingspan and elite athleticism. There might not be a perimeter player in the draft with a higher ceiling. He might need the most time to grow, but his age affords him the time to do so.
As a fan, does drafting someone like Wendell Carter get you more excited than Knox or Miles Bridges? If it does, it might be time to reevaluate your expectations.