The Chicago Bulls won’t have a first-round pick, but they still have a selection in the 2021 NBA Draft.
The proverbial ping-pong balls didn’t bounce in the Bulls’ favor on Tuesday night. They conveyed their first-round pick to the Orlando Magic as a part of the trade that brought Nikola Vucevic to the Bulls.
Had the Bulls’ pick fell within the Top-4, they would have kept it. While Chicago won’t have the more desirable selection, they are scheduled to select 38th if they execute their right to swap picks with the New Orleans Pelicans as expected.
Throughout history, we’ve seen second-round picks turn into All-Stars and even Hall-of-Famers. A second-round pick, Nikola Jokic, just won the league MVP earlier this month. By the way, the man instrumental in the Denver Nuggets selecting Jokic is the Bulls’ current VP of Basketball Operations, Arturas Karnisovas.
There is no doubt Bulls fans would have loved a shot at Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs or Jalen Green. However, they might still have a chance to get a solid contributor.
Chicago has a need for a point guard. We expect the Bulls to pursue Lonzo Ball, who is a restricted free agent, and perhaps others. They might also look at their second-round pick to see if they can get a player who can contribute.
Daishen Nix, a 6-foot-5 G-League point guard might be an interesting selection for Chicago.
Scouting Report on Nix
NBADraft.net’s Evan Tomes compared Nix to retired NBA veteran Andre Miller. Tomes acknowledges Nix lacks explosiveness, but loves most of the other parts of his game.
Good size for position … Very good ball handler, court vision, and passing ability. Alert with very good instincts. Reads and reacts, doesn’t predetermine his offense. Knows where the pass is going before he receives the ball. Effective distributing in the half-court and leading in transition. Very good timing on lead passes, hits teammates in stride and makes accurate cross-court passes. Finds teammates at times when they don’t realize they’re open … Quick, shifty, and creative with the ball. Breaks down the defense and is effective with his dribble, changing speed and direction to fit into tight spaces. Splits defenders. Gets to the middle to dump off to the open man or kick to the open shooter when the help comes. Makes one-handed passes on the move with either hand. Difficult to pressure in the back court and isn’t fazed by a defender guarding him tight, keeping his dribble alive … Good body control and shows creativity as a finisher, scoring at various angles. Can drive going to his left or right … Solid strength. Initiates and handles contact well offensively, draws fouls at a good rate. Shields the ball on drives and anytime in traffic … Improved as a shooter during his senior year, showing ability to hit from NBA 3PT range without hesitation … Good defender on and off the ball. Sticks to his man in a defensive stance and has a knack for clean swipes on the ball. Anticipates and jumps passing lanes with quick hands. Averaged 1.4 steals per game at the NBPA Top 100 in 2019. Good timing and shot blocking ability for position … Solid rebounder for position and has a quick second jump on offensive boards …
Nix is a heady player who defends, rebounds well for his position, distributes and best of all, seems to excel at running half-court offense. On the downside, he shot the three horribly in 2020-21 in the G-League, making just 17% of his attempts.
However, he’s only 19. The Alaskan-born point guard chose to forego college to join the G-League, and any team that drafts him will know he’s far from the finished product.
Nix needs to harden his body a bit, but the size and strength are there. The Miller comparison is interesting, but I see a slightly smaller, quicker version of the Memphis Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson.
Take a look:
Other PG Options
The potential to land Ball or one of the other free-agent point guards is there, as is the more splashy possibility of trading for a star like Ben Simmons. There is also a chance the Bulls make a move for Jokic’s Serbian national teammate Vasilije Micić, whom they are rumored to have interest.
Getting a Top-4 pick was a longshot to begin with, and now the Bulls brass can make solid plans based on their current situation.
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