Many of the mock drafts you’ll see have the Chicago Bulls selecting Deni Avdija with the No. 4 pick, or trading back and taking the likes of Killian Hayes. A recent mock published by Draft Site has pegged Dayton big man Obi Toppin as the Bulls pick at No. 4.
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Are Bulls and Obi Toppin a Match?
Toppin is one of the most athletic bigs in the draft. He’s 6’9″ and is listed at 220 pounds. We’ll likely find out the official measurements for him at the event that is put into place to simulate the NBA Combine.
Toppin has an impressive wingspan, bounce, and range to shoot the three–at least on the college level–at a 39-percent clip. He has drawn some comparisons to Amar’e Stoudemire and another Phoenix Suns great Shawn Marion.
Almost any team could find a place for that kind of talent. However, the Bulls already have two young and promising bigs on the roster in Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. No one is suggesting Toppin would have to come in as an instant starter, but at some point you expect a guy taken with the No. 4 pick overall to be not just a starter, but a star.
Can he become that on a team with both Markkanen and Carter Jr?
Would Drafting Obi Toppin Lead to a Trade of Lauri Markkanen or Wendell Carter Jr?
While a selection of Toppin wouldn’t automatically result in an immediate trade of Markkanen or Carter Jr. You’d have to believe the team would be looking to move one of the young players in an event to add assets that it could turn into depth or a player that fills another need.
At this point, we don’t know how new Bulls management, which consists of Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley feel about the team’s current nucleus. Are they sold on Coby White as the team’s franchise point guard? Do they believe Markkanen’s confidence can be restored? Is Carter Jr. going to be able to stay healthy and to develop as a more consistent low-post defender? Perhaps most importantly, do they see Zach LaVine as the kind of player they should be building around?
The answers to those questions will largely shape what the Bulls do with the No. 4 pick, how they approach free agency, and who–if anyone–they decide to trade during the abbreviated offseason or closer to the deadline.
The next 90 days should be a whirlwind and pretty interesting for the NBA and Bulls fans.