The Bulls may not have won the NBA Draft Lottery but they can still get a very good player with the No. 7 pick
The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery was held on May 14 and the end results left many shocked and angry (mainly fans of the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers). The New Orleans Pelicans have potentially won the Zion Williamson sweepstakes as they received this year's No.1 overall pick.
Other losing teams also didn't get the picks that they wanted, and the Chicago Bulls were especially disappointed as they were given the seventh overall selection for the second straight year. While I correctly predicted on live television earlier this year that the Bulls wouldn't get the top draft choice, they appeared to be in well positioned to end up with a top-five pick. So you can understand why Bulls fans are so upset with the result.
The NBA Draft Lottery may have it's flaws, but the league doesn't seem to be compelled to get rid of it anytime soon. So we're stuck with this process for the foreseeable future. In the case of the Bulls; Williamson and Murray State's Ja Morant are out of the question, while Williamson's teammates in Cam Reddish and R.J. Barrett may be a stretch at this point. But there is still plenty of talented players that the Bulls could take at No. 7. Here are five specific players that may be on the Bulls' radar based on their needs.
Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
Garland was linked to the Bulls even before the lottery took place. The team has talked about adding another point guard to the mix and Garland can provide that when healthy. Injuires limited him to just five games for the Commodores last season, but in those games Garland averaged 16 points, three rebounds, and two assists. He also made 11-of-23 3-point shots, converted 53-percent of his field goals, and showcased his ability to space the floor and stretch defenses. And it's those latter two skills that the Bulls are in need of.
Jarrett Culver, SG/SF, Texas Tech
He's the main reason why the Red Raiders made it to this year's national championship game. The Lubbock native led his hometown team with 18.5 points per contest. Culver also hit 46-percent of his shots from the field, made nearly 40-percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, is a 70-percent shooter from the free throw line, and he's hit many clutch shots that propelled the Texas Tech program to new heights. The Bulls could benefit from having another sharpshooter on the roster, especially one that can play two positions.
De'Andre Hunter, G, Virginia
The Cavaliers do-it-all player scored a career-high 27 points to help defeat Texas Tech back in April's national championship game. Hunter is a scorer, an aggressive shooter, and is one of the reasons why Virgina cut the nets down. Scoring an average of 15 points every night tied him for 12th in the ACC with teammate Kyle Guy. Hunter also posted five rebounds and two assists each game, and he's a 52-percent shooter. He'll be an instant contributor on somebody's team, so why not the Bulls?
Brandon Clarke, SF, Gonzaga
As Rui Hachimura's right hand man in Spokane Clarke posted nearly a double-double every night (16.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg). He scored 20 or more points in 22 games, as the San Jose State transfer shot an impressive 68 percent from the field. If the Bulls have their hearts set on a dependable backup for Otto Porter Jr., then Clarke would fit that mold.
Max Strus, SG, DePaul
Strus is one of the best shooters in Blue Demons history. In just two seasons Strus put himself in the 26th spot on DePaul's all-time scoring list with 1,226 points. He also averaged 26 points per game last season which ranked him 14th in the nation. Strus was near-automatic at times as he hit 36 percent from 3-point range, 42-percent from the field, and 80-percent of his free throw attempts. Strus also won numerous school and conference (Big East) awards and set the standard for future DePaul players.
At 6-foot-6, Strus can tower over most players that would defend him. He carried Dave Leitao's team on his back, all the way to the CBI Championship Game. Strus grew up in Hickory Hills, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. Perhaps the Bulls could take another chance on a local prospect like they did with Derrick Rose. He is, however, a long shot to be drafted this high as he's projected to be a second-round selection.
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.