Chicago Bulls: What Wendell Carter Jr. pick means for free agency plans

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls selected Wendell Carter Jr. with the seventh pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Could a wing player be the target for the Bulls in July?

Chicago Bulls fans are in an uproar as they passed up on fan favorite Michael Porter Jr. for the safer route in Wendell Carter Jr. Porter was that wing player that the Bulls desperately needed to pair with a Zach LaVine. It’s understandable why some might feel outraged at the decision considering Porter’s ceiling is higher than Carter.

However, Carter should not be looked at as a bad pick by the Bulls (considering the frequent pro comparison is Al Horford). He’s a highly skilled post player with decent athleticism around the rim. He’s also an underrated defender and shot blocker on the defensive end. If you were ever looking for a player that best compliment Lauri Markannen, Carter is definitely that guy.

So, that leaves the Bulls with an obvious need for another wing player. David Nwaba will get some serious consideration to be brought back. Nwaba doesn’t stretch defenses out as he’s not much of a shooter but is a good slasher and above-average defender.

A guy that could get some consideration is Jabari Parker. Injuries have derailed Parker’s career as he was on the cusp of stardom coming out of Duke. The two ACL injuries halted that trajectory and he has gradually been working back to that level since then.

A sleeper free agent to keep an eye on is Mario Hezonja. Hezonja’s scoring potential was never a concern. The problem has been his ability on the defensive end. That has led to the Orlando Magic not giving him much playing time over his tenure there.

Hezonja could be a low-risk/high-reward signing for the Bulls. He can handle the ball and create off the dribble and is a decent spot up shooter. He could space the floor and give both LaVine and Kris Dunn room for driving opportunities. Worst case scenario, he can be that scoring option off the bench.

Next: 3 players who benefit from Wendell Carter Jr. pick

Older veteran wings that will also be available are Trevor Ariza, Joe Johnson, Wilson Chandler and Jeff Green. These guys could fill that void at small forward but go against the youth movement that the Bulls are currently trying to implement. Vice President John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman will have to weigh their options in July.