The Chicago Bulls have awhile to plan for who they will choose as their selection in the 2014 NBA draft. The draft isn’t until June 26th, but seeing as this is one of the most talented classes in recent history, it is easy to get excited. In anticipation of the Bulls’ selection I will be doing a five-part series on potential draft picks, with my concluding entry coming in May.
Tom Thibodeau is an excellent coach because he maximizes the ability of his players. His intense coaching style makes it difficult-to near impossible-for the Chicago Bulls to tank (become a bad enough team to get into the lottery). The team will always try their hardest because the players hate to let Thibs down. This bodes well for the future, and there is no reason for Bulls fans to freak out. This draft class is so deep that the Bulls can still land a great player if they fall out of the lottery.
The Bulls haven’t had a huge offensive threat at the shooting guard spot since Michael Jordan. And while there don’t appear to be any MJs in this draft class, we can definitely find an interesting offensive-minded player outside of the lottery. The player the Bulls (in their current state) should draft is Wayne Selden Jr. He is perhaps the most intriguing prospect in this draft, and he has all-star potential.
Selden is a big 2-guard at 6ft 5in and 230 lbs. He uses that big frame to bull his way to the rim and finish. He also has a nice outside jump shot that is constantly improving. He has the potential to become a James Harden-type player in that regard. The only thing that stops him from having the potential of a Dwyane Wade is his lack of interest on the defensive end. That is not a worry of mine for any player coming to the Bulls, as we have seen Tom Thibodeau make serviceable defenders out of player a lot weaker than Wayne Selden.
During the current college basketball season Selden has not become any easier to scout. He is one of the most sporadic performers in the country. And routinely follows double digit scoring outputs with single-digit scoring and multiple turnover games. All of this while seeming allergic to defense. But his ability to get on hot streaks gives you a preview of what he could be when he figures it all out. In a two game stretch against two of KU’s tougher opponents (Kansas State and Oklahoma) Selden averaged 22pts, hitting 61.5% from the field, including 8 of 15 (53% from the 3-pt line). Despite shooting a horrendous 58% from the free throw line on the year, he shows the ability to make free throws consistently shooting 68% on free throws over his last six games.
Selden is currently coming off of two bad games (both Kansas wins), but in both games he managed to contribute with his rebounding and passing. He has even stepped it up a little on the defensive end, coming up with two steals against Oklahoma State. The great thing about these two poor performances is that you will see that even though Selden is in a slump, he stayed aggressive. He shot a 100% from the free throw line but that is with only six attempts. If Selden would settle for perimeter shots less and attack the rim more he would definitely become a more efficient scorer. He is obviously a young player who is just scratching the surface of his potential, but he has shown a willingness to be aggressive on offense. That is something that even top-3 prospect Andrew Wiggins has struggled with. Plus performances like his 5 for 10 shooting from the 3-pt line against Oklahoma keep me interested in his fit with the Chicago Bulls.
For those of you who want to watch Selden play, Kansas plays at home tonight against Baylor at 8pm CT on ESPN. And if you come away unimpressed with Selden’s play, just remember that this is a prospect that the Bulls could grab in a scenario where we don’t have a lottery pick. The Bulls front office has a great track record when it comes to finding steals in the draft, and I think Wayne Selden Jr. could continue that trend.
I always think if you want to see what a player might be like at the height of his powers you should look back at his high school dominance. So below here is Wayne Selden Jr.’s official Hoopmixtape.