Chicago Bulls: Even Jim Boylen couldn’t screw up Darius Garland

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls could eye the Vanderbilt University star with their No.7 overall pick.

Last week the Chicago Bulls learned their fate with respect to where they would be picking in the 2019 NBA Draft. The Draft lottery, which was held in Chicago, Illinois, revealed the Bulls would be selecting seventh-overall for the third consecutive year.

That’s an incredible feat in and of itself, though through no fault of (or credit to) the Bulls obviously.

In any event, fans are likely very disappointed in the outcome and for good reason. This class has largely been considered to have two superstar talents at the top in Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. Picking seventh means that unless the first six teams are locked in an isolation chamber the night of the draft, neither one will be available when the Bulls pick.

However, is it possible that perhaps that’s a blessing in disguise? Crazy talk I know, but hear me out. Look, all things being equal, any team would give their kidney for one of those two players. But let’s be candid — the Bulls aren’t “any team.” They are a catastrophe wrapped up in a dumpster fire, embedded in a three-ring circus. And when they extended head coach Jim Boylen, they sent a message that it would be this way for the foreseeable future.

That’s important because nothing about the way Boylen ran his team’s offense last year, or the way John Paxson wants him to run it, should give fans any sense that either would know what to do with players like Zion or Morant. They are two incredibly talented and dynamic players who will be superstars if utilized correctly by their respective teams. While that may be 99 percent of the teams in the league, it ain’t the Bulls.

That’s why Darius Garland out of Vanderbilt University would be such a home run selection at No. 7. Beyond being uber-talented, he is essentially ‘Boylen-proof.’

From the defensive side of the ball, Garland still has some work to do — but what 19-year-old doesn’t? However, from an offensive perspective, he appears to be everything the Bulls are looking for in a point guard that they are not finding in Kris Dunn. Should the Bulls look to move on from Dunn, Garland makes a lot of sense.

He’s a very gifted playmaker, who can create his own shot and is pretty deadly from three-point range. Garland is excellent when putting the ball on the floor and is adept at setting up teammates — something that should fit in well with the various scoring options for the Bulls. A point guard who can create off the dribble, get his own shot when he has to, break down defenders, and shoot well from beyond the arc seems like the plug-and-play option this offense needs.

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One potential concern with Garland is the fact that he is coming off a season-ending knee injury which forced him to miss all but five games. How he has healed thus far, and the prospects for a full recovery will loom large in terms of where he is selected. However, at the moment he is projected to be taken somewhere in the No. 4-7 range. If so, the Bulls might find one of the few players in this draft who can succeed despite their antiquated offense.