When the 2021 NBA draft comes around, the Chicago Bulls will have a good amount of waiting to do till it’s time for them to be on the clock.
Because of the Nikola Vučević trade, the Bulls do not own a first-round draft pick in the draft. The top-four protected pick included in the deal turned out to be the eighth overall pick, meaning it went to the Orlando Magic. This leaves Chicago with just the 38th pick.
While not ideal, the Bulls can still find value in the second round. Their recent history with the No. 38 pick hasn’t been the best, but with Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley in charge now, Bulls fans have hope for something better.
Toward the end of June, Darren Wolfson of KSTP in Minneapolis reported that forward Jericho Sims had a workout scheduled with the Bulls.
Sims is projected to be a second-round pick with his performance at the NBA Draft Combine boosting his stock, so he could be a realistic choice for the Bulls at No. 38.
The latest Bulls news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bulls newsletter here!
A 22-year-old power forward, Sims played four seasons at Texas before entering the NBA draft. During his senior season, he had his most offensively efficient season. In 26 games, he averaged 24.5 minutes and 9.2 points on a team-best 69.9% shooting from the field. A member of the starting lineup, Sims also posted averages of 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in his final collegiate season.
Sims is a two-time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and was a Big 12 All-Tournament selection this past season.
At the combine, he measured at 6-feet, 9-inches without shoes and 6-feet, 10-inches with shoes, so Sims is on par with other power forwards in the league.
One of the most appealing aspects of Sims’ game is his athleticism. He made an impression at the combine with his jumping ability. His standing vertical leap of 41.5 inches and max vertical leap of 44.5 inches were both ranked second best among all combine participants.
Sims showed off that vertical recently at Klutch Sports’ pro day, jumping so high his face caught the rim on the way down.
Furthermore, his 44.5-inch max vertical leap tied Hamidou Diallo’s record for second best in combine history, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
Jonathan Hollinger at The Athletic called Sims a “no-frills, rim-running and shot-blocking” big man Given his athleticism, leaping prowess and 7-feet, 3.25-inch wingspan, he can be a legitimate threat in the paint on either end of the court. Sims’ draft prospect profile on NBA.com also mentioned his ability to “switch and guard on the perimeter.”
This defensive ability can help him immediately earn minutes as a rookie. The Bulls especially could benefit from Sims’ defensive prowess. They need to improve on that end of the court, and Sims could provide that boost.
Offensively, Sims doesn’t offer much.
Hollinger noted that Sims’ “shooting range ends at the charge circle.” So his offense is limited and not as well suited for an NBA where bigs are increasingly expected to have scoring range beyond the paint. His free throw shooting needs work as well. He had just a 52.0% success rate from the charity stripe during his senior year.
At 22 years old, Sims is one of the older players in the draft, which could make him a less appealing choice.