Last week, we learned that the Chicago Bulls have already spoken with two projected first-round picks: Scottie Barnes and Sharife Cooper. The organization may have seen their first-round pick handed to the Orlando Magic thanks to the Nikola Vucevic trade, but those interviews signal that the organization will continue to do their due diligence across the draft board, and that process looks like it will continue this week.
Unlike Barnes and Cooper, the Bulls will now look closer at two under-the-radar prospects. Florida Gators wing Scottie Lewis told reporters at the draft combine that he will work out for Chicago this week, according to Adam Zagoria. Likewise, Texas forward Jericho Sims also plans to work out with the Bulls sometime midweek, per Darren Wolfson.
He works out for the Chicago Bulls next week and has 7 others scheduled. pic.twitter.com/5Ccemia6wf
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 25, 2021
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) June 26, 2021
The Chicago Bulls hold the No. 38 picks in the draft, but neither Lewis nor Sims have been considered that high of a selection. In fact, I’ve seen some early 60-pick mock drafts fail to feature at least one of the players altogether.
Lewis was one of the nation’s highest-recruited players coming into Florida. He was an obvious five-star recruit, ranked as the No. 1 small forward and No. 7-overall prospect in the Class of 2019, per 247sports. However, once Lewis arrived in Gainsville, he failed to live up to the hype. Lewis averaged just 8.5 points with 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game during his freshman campaign. The performance drove him back for a sophomore season, where he posted a similarly underwhelming season (7.9ppg, 3.1 reb, 1.6 stl, 1.5 blk).
Lewis is an athletic hustle player who looks to have great upside as a help defender. He possesses good size at the wing, standing 6’5″ with a 6’11” wingspan. What stands out immediately in the film is Lewis’ knack for being in the right place at the right time. While he may not be the most offensively gifted player (looks pretty skinny and his ballhandling seems average), Lewis does get back up the floor quickly in transition and has flashed some really solid body control around the rim.
Of 26 prospects to test today, Scottie Lewis had fastest shuttle run, fastest lane agility, fastest sprint, 2nd highest standing vert, 2nd highest max vert (tied)
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) June 23, 2021
In some ways, Lewis reminds me of Tony Snell. I know there is nothing very sexy about that comparison, but let’s not forget Snell carries some redeeming qualities. Both possess a good-looking and reliable shooting stroke without being the most offensively aggressive players. Snell carries a more physically appealing frame, but Lewis is an athletic freak who can use his tall and lanky body to more than hold his own on the defensive end. Now, much unlike Snell, Lewis seems a lot more energetic, which could signal an even greater desire to hone his craft.
ESPN currently ranks Lewis as the 75th-best player on their 2021 big board and the 24th-best shooting guard.
Sims is the prospect I’ve seen gain a little more national recognition as of late. Not only was he on a superior Texas Longhorns team this season, but he had one of the more encouraging combine performances in Chicago. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz listed Sims as a “winner” of the combine process, believing he proved worthy of being a draft-night second-round flyer.
The big man spent four years in college and is coming off a strong senior season where he averaged 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. There is no question he comes with his offensive limitations, as he’s basically allergic to a jumper, but he does possess some crafty footwork and a strong hankering for destroying the rim. His real potential comes as an off-the-bench rim-protector who can ignite the team with a big dunk and some key offensive rebounds.
Sims stands 6’10” with a 7’3″ wingspan, and he is currently ranked 72nd by ESPN and 16th among power forwards.
Texas' Jericho Sims put on an absolute show for NBA teams at the NBA Combine today, dunking everything in sight. No question he helped himself with how aggressive he came out and the explosiveness and power he displayed. pic.twitter.com/quJziprxh6
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 23, 2021
The Bulls need depth at both the wing and two front-court positions, so the interest in either player should not come as a major surprise. With that said, I would not expect the team to select either with the No. 38 pick, but you never know who can continue to rise up the ranks. We also need to remember the Bulls could strike a trade that nets them a later second-round selection or they could look at both Lewis and Sims as hopefully undrafted free agent signings (like Devon Dotson).
Lastly, I should comment that Lewis and Sims are likely only two of several players that will visit the Bulls this week. Predraft workouts will continue basically up until draft night, and I doubt we will learn of every name that walks through the Advocate Center doors this month.