Bulls pick Carter


Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr., right, poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after he was picked seventh overall by the Chicago Bulls during NBA basketball draft in New York, Thursday, June 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

By Michael Urbanec

The Chicago Bulls frontcourt should be set for the upcoming future after Thursday’s NBA Draft.

For the seventh pick in the NBA Draft, the Bulls selected Duke University center Wendell Carter, Jr.

Carter is a traditional post scorer who would fit in any era of basketball, but he can also pass and space the floor similarly to Al Horford according to NBADraft.net.

Standing at 6’10, Carter averaged 13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for Duke last season.

Carter has a big body, soft hands and a jump shot from anywhere on the floor. He goes a long way toward preparing the Bulls to compete in a rapidly changing NBA, where spacing the floor and ball movement is everything.

The question about Carter is whether or not he can get up and down the floor and stay in shape. A big body can be a good thing when the center can make it up and down the floor, but too much of his game relies on being stronger than his opponents. Dropping weight in order to keep up could harm his post game, but Carter is a complete enough player that these qualms could be a non-factor.

With their 22nd pick, the Bulls shored up the shooting guard position with Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison. Hutchison can be a scorer if needed, but he shines on defense, and has the size (6’7” with a 7’1” wingspan) to guard every position. The addition will take some load off of Denzel Valentine, who is a strong scorer but not the best defender, and Hutchison can knock down the three ball at a good clip.

With the first pick in the draft, the Suns shocked no on and picked DeAndre Ayton, a center from the University of Arizona. Ayton’s biggest advantage is his size and athleticism. He is 7’1, 250 lbs with an extremely long torso. His build is similar to David Robinson’s, and while scouts should not judge this book by its cover, Ayton’s transcendent offensive play makes him worthy of the first pick in the draft.

After Ayton, the draft got a bit messy; Duke’s Malcolm Bagley III going to the Sacramento Kings was not a surprise, but the Dallas Mavericks trading the number five pick (Oklahoma guard Trae Young) and a future first round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Slovenian swingman Luka Doncic, who made a late push after impressing in his workouts with every team.

The shock of the night came when Michael Porter, Jr., at one point the consensus number one pick in most mock drafts, slipped all the way down to the Denver Nuggets, picking at 14. Porter only played three games last season at Missouri with tears in his vertebrae, and he still is not completely recovered. He has since had surgery to fix his back issues, but has cancelled team workouts due to being unable to leave his bed with back spasms.

Teams will see another influx of players on July 1 with the start end of a moratorium on contract negotiations and the start of free agency.