While the NBA draft offers its share of backcourt candidates, the Bulls aren't likely to head in that direction at the ninth overall pick unless it's with a trade in mind. But here are the options.
For the most part, the Bulls make it work in the backcourt, even if they don't go about it in a conventional manner. At 6-foot-3, Kirk Hinrich has some size but lacks strength. Ben Gordon has some strength but lacks size - he's listed at 6-3 but is at least one inch shorter. And neither has outrageous athletic skills. Because Hinrich runs the offense well and Gordon excels as a shot-maker, they are able to overcome whatever weaknesses they have elsewhere. Next season more will be expected of 6-foot-7 Thabo Sefolosha, who fills a chronic need for size at the position. Chris Duhon provides experience at point guard, although he could be used as trade bait this summer. So while the NBA draft offers its share of backcourt candidates, the Bulls aren't likely to head in that direction at the ninth overall pick unless it's with a trade in mind. The potential lottery picks at the position: - Mike Conley Jr., 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Ohio State. While the Bulls place no great value on undersized point guards, Conley has the drive-and-dish skills that fit their offense. He also has a Final Four appearance on his résumé, the kind of background Bulls general manager John Paxson likes of his first-round picks. Conley probably will be off the board at the ninth pick, but if he is available, the Bulls may want to take a close look at him. - Acie Law, 6-4, 186, Texas A&M. Some scouts compare him to Sam Cassell. Projected to be a point guard at the next level, Law has a solid perimeter game and doesn't shy away from big shots. He lacks explosiveness off the dribble and doesn't finish consistently. - Nick Young, 6-7, 206, Southern California. Widely considered to be the best pure shooter at the off guard position. Young packs a lethal mid-range game and can shoot the NBA 3-pointer as well. Needs to improve his strength and stamina to be a regular contributer. - Javaris Crittenton, 6-5, 194. Georgia Tech. He handles the ball and creates well enough to play point guard, his primary position. Crittenton also has the size to move to off guard at times. He is a raw talent and turnover-prone, but his size and athleticism cannot be overlooked. Like Conley and Law, Crittenton worked out for the Bulls earlier this month. - Rodney Stuckey, 6-5, 207, Eastern Washington. A very poor man's Dwyane Wade, according to some scouts. Stuckey has athletic skills, handles the ball and shoots the mid-range jump shot, but he lacks explosiveness and creative skills. He could be a valuable swing guard with the point as his best position. Other probable first-rounders: Morris Almond (6-6, 215, Rice), Marco Belinelli (6-5, 192, Climamio Bologna), Daequan Cook (6-6, 203, Ohio State) and Rudy Fernandez (6-6, 172, Joventut Badalona). More Bulls coverage is at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports.