Despite the likelihood that they wouldn’t be in a position to take him, the Chicago Bulls still had a meeting with top-four prospect Brandon Miller of Alabama, per Chicago sports reporter Daniel Greenberg.
Per Greenberg, Miller noted the Bulls were one of four teams he has met with so far.
Miller has been mocked as the No. 2 or 3 pick since before the Crimson Tide’s season ended in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
“A 6-9 guard who can facilitate, hit jumpers from anywhere on the floor and demonstrates strong defensive versatility, Miller is the archetypal player every NBA team is currently searching for,” writes ESPN NBA draft analyst Jonathan Givony in his latest mock. “He’s an easy fit on any roster thanks to his ability to play shooting guard through power forward.”
Givony currently has Miller slotted second-overall to the Charlotte Hornets behind French big man Victor Wembanyama and ahead of G League Ignite star Scoot Henderson who has also flirted with second-billing at times.
Miller averaged 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 43% from the floor, 38.4% from deep, and 85.9% at the free throw line.
He racked up quite a laundry list of accomplishments during his lone season in Tuscaloosa.
Miller also led the SEC in scoring, ranked fourth in rebounding, and finished 10th in blocks on a per-game basis this past season.
He was considered a “person of interest” in a murder investigation after it was discovered that, upon request, he delivered the gun used in the shooting of a young woman, per ESPN News Services.
Despite the connection, Miller has never been charged in the shooting. He did issue a statement for any prospective teams who may have doubts about him.
“It’s all a lesson learned,” Miller said at the NBA Draft Combine on May 17, per Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score. “You just always have to be aware of your surroundings and what you’re surrounded by. I feel like the night could’ve changed my career in less than a heartbeat.”
Chicago Bulls are Lottery Losers
The Bulls were not so lucky as to have their pick wind up in the top four, let alone the top three.
They won’t have a shot at Miller barring some radical unforeseen development among the top three teams.
The Portland Trail Blazers still owe the Bulls a first-round pick and cannot make the desired moves to improve their roster. There is a belief that the two sides could work out a deal to satisfy that commitment – the result of the three-team trade involving Derrick Jones Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Larry Nance.
Portland also owns the No. 23 overall pick which they could send to the Bulls.
It looks like the Bulls will have to settle for making a good impression on the youngster after Miller said he got “good vibes” in his meeting with Chicago, per NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson.
The Bulls did not give any indication that they are plotting to make that lofty jump up to take the talented Miller, per Westerlund.
Bulls Making Good Impressions on Prospects
While they do not have a pick in this draft (they are also without their second-round pick this year thanks to the trade for Otto Porter Jr. in 2019), the Bulls are making good impressions on the prospects at the combine.
Per Johnson, Kentucky guard Cason Wallace – a projected top-12 pick by Givony – echoed Miller’s sentiments.
Additionally, Johnson reports that Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. says he aspires to be able to emulate Bulls star DeMar DeRozan’s “elite footwork and ability to get shot off with just one or two dribbles.”
Givony projects Smith to land with the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 13 overall pick.