After showing out at the 2018 NBA Combine, it’s easy to see that Zhaire Smith draft stock improved significantly. The question is, by how much? Because Smith is primarily a solid defender rather than a first choice offensive selection, we should see him be picked between the 15th and 25th pick.
This is where it gets interesting for Smith. There are several teams who would want to acquire his talents. However, no franchise could benefit more from his style of play than the Chicago Bulls.
After posting one of the worst records in the Eastern Conference going 27-55, it’s time for the infamous Bulls to make some major moves. With the 7th and 22nd pick in this year’s draft, we could see Smith go to Chicago late in the first round.
However, its not like the Bulls have no assets at all. The addition of Lauri Markkanen showed promise for Chicago this year as he was selected to the NBA Rookie 1st Team. The young power forward needs help, though. That's where we insert Smith. His ability to pass has improved immensely and he and Markkanen would pair really well together on pick and roll plays.
We also can’t forget Zach LaVine, the former two-time dunk champion that can create on the floor...once he’s healthy. We’ve all seen what LaVine can do when he was with the Timberwolves. He produces once he steps on the floor and still shows off with his 360 spin dunks. Wouldn't it be exciting to see Zhaire next to him? I mean, come on, if LaVine teaches him how to throw down the tomahawk, we could see a Red Raider in the NBA dunk contest soon.
One positive about the Bulls franchise is that they’re young. Actually, Chicago possesses one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and we’ve seen what Boston has done with its young crew. Pretty amazing, right? Alongside LaVine in the backcourt is guard Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis and Denzel Washington.
The 6’4” shooting guard mimics a few players currently in the NBA. With his aggressiveness on the wing, most would say he resembles a young Victor Oladipo, which he does. However, Smith isn't close to the offensive threat as Oladipo is. It will take him some time to be a reliable offensive asset.
That's why I put Zhaire next to a name Texans know very well; Danny Green from the San Antonio Spurs. He isn't the biggest offensive threat, but he can still contribute a solid 10 points. However, his rebounding ability and defensive mid set is easily comparable to Smith and what he did for Texas Tech in his freshman season. Smith can’t shoot as well as Green, but he can get there with some persistence.
Heck, he may even show up at the next level and get more shots than Green does in his 30’s. Smith is just as athletic, if not more, and can out-rebound most guards in the NBA.
These are all reasons the struggling Bulls should take a shot at Zhaire Smith and update themselves on the defensive end. His NBA potential will only rise once he is under the guidance of Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg. Smith would also be playing alongside some younger players, like stated before, who can take the Bulls to the next level with their athleticism.
And who wouldn't want to see Chicago come back to its former glory established in the Jordan/Pippen era? Obviously, it will take another year or so for the Bulls to be contenders again. However, throwing Zhaire Smith in the mix is the first step to bringing Chicago out of its rut and back to a winning franchise.
Also, I’m not done seeing Zhaire Smith posterize players while sporting the red an black uniform. Chicago, take this young man.
Would you like to see Zhaire Smith play for the Bulls?
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