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Who the Chicago Bulls should pick at 11th overall – NBC Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

NBA scouts, executives and observers are united in their belief that beauty could be in the eye of the beholder come June.

In a draft pool with guaranteed star power but potentially one rich with solid contributors, this year’s NBA Draft features plenty of diversity. One team’s draft board can vary significantly from another’s; the 11th pick could be interchangeable with, say, the fifth pick.

The Chicago Bulls are in 11th place after Sunday’s NBA draft lottery. Mock drafts have linked them to players as varied as Tennessee shooting guard Dalton Knecht to USC point guard Isaiah Collier and more.

With the NBA Draft Combine underway all week at Wintrust Arena, NBC Sports Chicago spoke with several draft prospects linked to the Bulls. Here’s what they had to say:

Isaiah Collier, G, USC

Collier said he has a meeting scheduled with the Bulls this week. No matter where he lands, he doesn’t lack confidence.

“I feel like I’m still one of the best players in this draft,” he said. “I mean, the jump shot didn’t fall as well as I wanted it to in college. But I worked and the shot fell and I’m going to keep working. Reps after reps. Staying in the gym every day days, taking thousands of photos every day.

Collier said he believes his basketball IQ and strength will translate to the next level. He said he has been a natural leader on the court with an ability to see the court well since his days playing youth basketball.

“It’s a blessing to be here,” Collier said. “I’m enjoying the process.”

Collier cited Ja Morant, Anthony Edwards and LeBron James as players he admires. Collier played with James’ son, Bronny, at USC before a heart incident cut Bronny’s season short and led to an eventful season for the Trojans.

“We definitely faced a lot of adversity in the season we had,” Collier said. “I think it was a learning experience for me. I definitely learned a lot for the point guard position.”

And, yes, Collier knows and is friends with Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams since their shared days at USC.

Kyle Filipowski, CF, Duke

The big man has made Chicago his training base for weeks because his agency is based here. He once even threw out the first pitch before a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

“It was super cool,” Filipowski said.

Filipowski said his basketball IQ and shooting range are his biggest attributes that can translate to the next level.

“Working here the last few weeks, I’ve become a lot more confident and comfortable shooting the 3 ball at the NBA line,” he said.

In fact, Filipowski said former Bull Lauri Markkanen is one of the current NBA players he looks up to and tries to model his game in some way. He also tries to imitate parts of Nikola Jokić’s game.

“I think what’s cool is that these two players are so different from each other. But yet I have pieces of each of their games,” Filipowski said. “That’s why I think I’m so unique and why teams can use me in so many different ways.”

Filipowski said he loved Chicago and took some advice from Duke coach Jon Scheyer, who grew up at Northbrook.

“He tells me if I ever find myself in a bad situation, just say his name and I’ll be taken care of,” Filipowski joked.

Cody Williams, F, Colorado

It’s not often you hear a draft prospect cite a defensive-minded player as one of the NBA players he tries to model his game after. But it’s that mindset that has scouts were so intrigued by Williams, the younger brother of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen.

“I want to be an elite-level defender no matter what. That’s my main goal,” Williams said after citing Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels as a role model. “His length and his versatility on defense, he takes over the entire court and guards one through five. That’s something I can definitely be elite at.

“People don’t realize the impact (McDaniels) has on the field just disrupting plays. I think it’s interesting that not many people pay attention to the defensive end. I was fortunate to have the size and length to be a great defender, so I’m going to take advantage of that.”

Williams grew up in a house full of Los Angeles Lakers fans, so he cited Kobe Bryant as his favorite player of all time. And he’s grateful to have the influence and example to follow with his brother in the league.

“I definitely feel like I have an advantage,” Williams said. “He’s given me a lot of wisdom and knowledge throughout this process about how to improve, the ins and outs of what he’s done to get to where he is. I’ve taken all the knowledge he gave me and I work hard to get it better and attack every rep like it’s a game.”

It’s not a bad week for Cody: he’s interviewing for his future job this week with NBA teams while watching his older brother compete in the NBA playoffs at night.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

Dalton Knecht, AG, Tennessee

Known primarily as a shooter, the 23-year-old said he hopes to use this week to showcase his athleticism and versatility. In fact, his favorite player and one he has admired for a long time is Kevin Durant.

“I want to show that I can score on all three levels, not just in space,” Knecht said. “Playing above the rim will help me and create shots for me and my teammates as well.”

Knecht said he’s also good at rebounding and pushing the ball upfield himself, something he hopes to show off in scheduled scrimmages this week.

“My passing is also another force,” he said.

Improving his defense and learning the pace of the fastest NBA game are on his to-do list.

NBC Chicago

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