The NBA season has come to an end after an epic NBA Finals that went to the deciding Game 7. It included former Tar Heel Danny Green, who broke the Finals record with 27 three pointers made. During the finals, 3 point shooting was crucial for both teams. We saw it change and ultimately decide games. Danny Green obviously had the most success, but the Heat had some shooters of their own. Former Duke player Shane Battier hit 6 three pointers in Game 7 to help the Heat win. Ray Allen’s 3 with under 5 seconds to go in Game 6 kept Miami’s season alive. In Game 3 of the series, the Spurs as a team hit 16 of their 32 three pointers attempted.
As you can see, 3 point shooting in the NBA is very important. It was a major factor in the NBA Finals this year. With the NBA Draft coming up on Thursday night, teams will be scrambling to find 3 point shooting of their own. One of the first things that came to my mind while watching the great 3 point shooting in the Finals, was now former Tar Heel Reggie Bullock. Bullock is the only Tar Heel in this years draft, and he is one of the rising prospects in this draft. Why? 3 point shooting. Bullock shot 43% from three point land for UNC last year, and provides a lot of size compared to other shooters in the NBA.
Lets now look at what some experts think Reggie Bullock will end up. CBS Sports Analyst Matt Moore has Bullock getting picked 21st overall by the Utah Jazz. Other CBS analyst Garry Parrish has Reggie getting selected 20th by the Chicago Bulls. ESPN.com‘s NBA Mock Draft has Bullock going 23rd overall to the Indiana Pacers. NBA.com though, does not have him going in the 1st round, but 33rd overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Out of all of those teams, which is the BEST fit. Who should Reggie be wanting to get drafted by? I believe the Chicago Bulls provide the best opportunity for him right away. Derrick Rose, believe it or not, will be back next year. Adding a shooter like Bullock would be a big help for the Bulls. Reggie would also get the opportunity to play deep into the NBA Playoffs.
Being drafted by Cleveland won’t be too shabby either. Many believe being picked 19th by the Cavaliers is Bullock’s ceiling in the Draft. Cleveland also has picks 31st, and 33rd overall. The Bulls provide Bullock with the best opportunity right away. But Cleveland has the potential to be the best…by far. It might sound crazy, but there is a big chance LeBron James returns to Cleveland at the end of next year. After next season, LeBron’s contract with the Heat is over, he has a player option though. He could opt for free agency, or return for 1 more year with Miami. If James does in fact opt for free agency, the Cavaliers will be near the top of the list. It’s more realistic than you might think. The Cavaliers also have this guy by the name of Kyrie Irving. Irving is emerging as one of the best young players in the NBA. Kyrie, as you all might know, is a former Dookie. Even though he only played about 20 minutes in his only season with Duke because of injury.
We all have seen the Miami Heat’s 3 point shooting around LeBron James. Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers. Reggie Bullock could easily become the next one. Sounds a bit crazy, there is a lot of IF’s, but it’s a good possibility.
Some of the positives for Reggie Bullock are his shooting, and great rebounding for his size. Lets now look at some of the negatives, what might keep teams from drafting him. Some say he isn’t “tough enough” to play in the NBA yet. He has no 1 on 1 skills, can’t create his own shot, and can really only make wide open 3′s. Also that Bullock is a finesse, one-dimensional player. Which for the most part is true, but Reggie sure does do well at that one dimension of the game. Another negative is his defense. Bullock was a good enough defender in college.That won’t cut it in the NBA. In Bullock’s defense, he isn’t making a career out of his defense. He is here because of his shooting. The Miami Heat didn’t randomly start Mike Miller in the NBA Finals because of his defense. It was because of his shooting. Not to criticize Miller, but he isn’t the best defender. Especially at this stage of his career. As long as Reggie Bullock can carry over his efficient shooting over to the pros. He will have a long, successful career.
NBA comparison: Poor man’s Klay Thompson
Prediction: Drafted 20th overall to the Chicago Bulls
Worst case scenario: 33rd overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers