If there is one thing the Chicago Bulls should have taken away from their first-round defeat in the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the hands of the Washington Wizards, it’s this: they need more scorers. One way to address this concern is by selecting Duke forward Rodney Hood with one of their two first-round picks in the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft.
Thanks to a 2010 trade with the Charlotte Bobcats, the Bulls possess two first-round picks — No. 16 and No. 18 — and in a draft loaded with talent, Chicago has a perfect opportunity to draft two high-caliber players with a chance to contribute right away.
Without star point guard Derrick Rose for most of the 2014-15 season, the Bulls’ offense struggled mightily. As a team, they finished last in the league in points per game, last in overall shooting percentage and 24th in three-point shooting percentage. No matter how you slice it, those numbers are abysmal. Regardless of how good the defense might be, Chicago will never win a championship with offensive output like that.
That is why the Chicago Bulls should absolutely draft Hood if he is still available with the 16th pick in the draft. The sophomore forward lit it up for the Blue Devils this past season, averaging 16.1 points per game and knocking down 42 percent of his shots beyond the arc.
In addition to his ability to put the ball in the basket, Hood is also a solid ball-handler and a good athlete, who at 6-foot-8, 215-pounds has an NBA-ready body. The Bulls currently have some athletic wings in Jimmy Butler and Tony Snell, but neither has the type of offensive skill-set Hood does, which would make him a perfect addition to the rotation.
On the other hand, Hood is far from a perfect prospect. His biggest area of weakness is on the defensive end, but his struggles seem more effort-related than anything else and I think we can trust Tom Thibodeau and Joakim Noah to make sure that’s not an issue.
Despite the defensive concerns around Hood, he would be a perfect complement to the rest of the team. He is not and probably never will be a great defender, but he is an outstanding shooter and the Bulls desperately need more players who can spread the floor.
The Bulls have been in need of shooters for years and if Hood is available when they select on draft night, you would think his ability to consistently score the basketball would be too hard to pass up.