With just three days remaining before 2014 NBA Draft, we are heading into the stretch run of showcasing possible draft choices for the Bulls. Today, we will profile Cameron Bairstow.
Bairstow is a 6-10, 252 pound power forward out of New Mexico. He is a bruiser who loves to bang down low. He has a high motor and he challenges his man to get as physical as he is.
Bairstow is able to get to the free throw line, shooing 8.8 free throws a game this past season, good for 4th in the nation. He crashes the board, working well for post position.
Bairstow came to the Lobos weighing 210 pounds. He worked hard in the weight room to eventually gain over 40 pounds. He improved not only his strength but also his footwork. This is a great example of his work ethic.
One thing that could make Bairstow valuable is his jump shot. He has a very good mid-range shot. In his senior season, he shot 55.6% from the field and 73.5% from the free throw line. While he is not a great athlete, his threat of a jump shot and his ability to dribble from either hand helps open up the lane for him to drive to the hoop.
Bairstow was incredibly efficient his senior season, despite shouldering a heavier workload. Usually, with added minutes, a player’s efficiency drops, but the opposite happened with Bairstow. After playing 844 minutes his junior year, he played nearly 300 more minutes his senior year. While his true shooting percentage was 53.7% his junior year, it jumped to an excellent 61.1% his senior year, making him a lethal scorer in college. He averaged 24.8 points per-40 minutes and grabbed 9 rebounds his last year with New Mexico.
Defensively, Bairstow is a brute. He loves to get physical. He defends well in the post. He has a solid understanding of defensive concepts and team rotation. Where he has a problem is on the perimeter. He has an upright defensive stand and has trouble moving his feet. He also sags too much on pick-and-rolls.
At the beginning of last season, Bairstow was not on anyone’s radar in terms of a possible draft choice. He had an incredible season to propel himself to the middle of the second round. He would be effective coming off the bench for the Bulls. His high energy would fit in well in Chicago. With Taj Gibson probably starting now, Bairstow could take his old role, bringing energy off the bench. More importantly, with his scoring ability, he could add points, which is something the Bulls sorely lacked last season.