NBA Mock Draft Roundup: Experts Can’t Seem to Agree on Who Goes to the Bulls

NBA mock draft
NBA mock draft

Draft season is officially upon us, and it’s a big one for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. Not only is their team stuck in the mud after back-to-back losing seasons, but this year will mark only their third first-round pick since taking over the franchise. Even if this prospect pool is considered one of the most underwhelming of the last decade, every draft features a few diamonds in the rough. The Bulls’ job is to snatch that diamond at No. 11.

As we inch closer and closer to the big night, mock drafts will be flooding our feeds. It can be hard to keep up with all the projections, so we plan to compile the mocks from top analysts every couple of weeks. The mission is to see if there is any consensus on which way the Bulls might go on June 26th.

In case you missed it, our first edition of the mock draft round-up featured a heavy favorite. We can’t say the same this time around, though!

Bulls Mock Draft Roundup 2.0

Ron Holland – The Athletic, ESPN

Believe it or not, Ron Holland is the only player to show up in both our first and second mock draft roundups. And for good reason. If he falls to No. 11, the Bulls would be foolish not to take him. Holland is still only 18 years old and arguably the best raw athlete in this draft class. He spent the last season with the G-League Ignite, averaging 18.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Even more encouraging, he shot 47.8 percent from the field against grown men.

Now, I should note that these impressive stats came across only 15 games. Holland’s season was cut short due to a thumb injury. Nevertheless, this problem isn’t expected to linger, and Holland did enough to show that he is a clear-cut lottery-level talent. Will he be a project? Absolutely. But he’s still a six-foot-eight freakin athlete with a six-foot-eleven wingspan. In other words, he shouldn’t have a physically challenging time adapting to the next level.

Whether it be his naturally high motor on defense or his jaw-dropping fastbreak dunks, Holland’s two-way potential is tantalizing. This is why I ultimately believe he’ll go well before the Bulls are on the board. If he’s sitting there, though, the Bulls have to bet on the upside.

Devin Carter – The Ringer

If Holland would be the home run swing, Devin Carter might be the base knock.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor sparked a big conversation around Bulls nation by projecting Carter to go at No. 11. Rumor has it the Providence guard has a promise from a team, and we have at least some reason to believe that could’ve come from Arturas Karnisovas.

We discussed this a lot more in-depth earlier this week, so I encourage you to read our full article here. In the meantime, I’ll drop a snippet from that post below to provide a better idea of who Carter is as a player.

Carter averaged 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals in his junior season. He also turned a combined 28.8 percent shooting effort over his first two seasons from 3 into a 37.7 percent effort on 6.8 attempts per game this past year. The rebounding and steal numbers, in particular, speak to his high intensity and shockingly long frame. While he only stands a little over six-foot-two, Carter has a six-foot-eight wingspan!

The defensive chops have been there for Carter. Whether it be the clips I’ve seen or the scouting reports I’ve read from smarter people, all indications are that the defense should translate to the next level. We all know effort is half the battle, and Carter never fails in that department. Not to mention, the instincts are very good. The real question is how much Carter can improve offensively. He’ll need to show that the 3-point shot is here to stay, and he also doesn’t appear to flash the most impressive playmaking ability. Does he have what it takes to play point guard? Can he offer enough scoring versatility to play shooting guard?

Devin Carter, who some speculate may have a draft night promise from the Chicago Bulls
© Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Tidjane Salaun – Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley was the first I’ve seen to put Tidjane Salaun in a Chicago Bulls jersey. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t believable.

We all know Arturas Karnisovas has roots overseas, and Salaun is easily one of the most intriguing European prospects in this draft class. The French forward is six-foot-nine but arguably looks even bigger. He has freakishly long limbs to pair with a shocking fluid athleticism. Turn on the highlight reel, and you’ll quickly see him jumping passing lanes and leading fastbreaks. As far as modern NBA forwards go, it’s easy to see how Salaun could become a two-way asset. He has the mobility and length to be a potential defensive nightmare along the perimeter, but he also has a solid jumper and a strong ability to finish inside.

Still, Salaun is an EXTREMELY raw prospect. Untapped potential is fun, but it’s also a gamble. Salaun will need to show a lot of improvements as a ball-handler and off-the-dribble scorer to really take the next step. The good news, however, is that the Bulls shouldn’t have to worry about him taking advantage of opportunities. All indications are that Salaun is an extremely hard worker and the kind of player who will find any way to make an impact.

Nikola Topic – Yahoo Sports

The idea of the Chicago Bulls landing Nikola Topic was a fever dream up until this week. The talented overseas guard was widely expected to go in this year’s top 5, but recent injury news has derailed things. Topic is dealing with a partially torn ACL and will travel to the United States to visit with NBA doctors and determine the next steps, per ESPN. All things considered, he’s young enough that this shouldn’t be a significant long-term concern, but it doesn’t take much to scary lottery teams away.

I should also mention that Topic shockingly measured in at a six-foot-five wingspan, which came in far shorter than many expected.

Regardless, Topic has sat near the top of this year’s prospect pool for a reason. He is still a supersized point guard at six-foot-seven with potentially the best-facilitating gene in the draft. I wrote about him as a potential candidate for the Chicago Bulls if they were to move up in the draft, so here’s some more on him:

The first word that came to mind during my latest viewing of Topic was “scamper.” And, well, that felt weird considering that word is usually associated with smaller figures. If you just watch the guy, though, I think you’ll know exactly what I mean. He keeps the ball tight and runs all around the court to set up the offense. I wouldn’t call him the most naturally explosive athlete, but he does have some great acceleration in transition and can really use his size to his advantage when driving to the rim. He’ll be a pain for opposing defenses to keep up with.

The combination of size and decision-making is what I’m sure most front offices have fallen in love with. He reads the floor better than anyone in this class, and the Bulls have no one on their roster currently who can play that role. Not to mention, adding a player like Topic would just allow Coby White to focus even more on what he does best – getting buckets. He could make a lot of sense for the Bulls.

I feel like he still lands somewhere in the top 10, but if he drops from a potential top 3 pick to No. 11, how do you not take him?

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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