The Chicago Bulls had targeted a scorer in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft, and when they were able to trade for Doug McDermott, they got their guy. Yet, there is a second round of the draft for a reason, and for the second time Thursday Night, the Bulls got the player they wanted after selecting New Mexico forward Cameron Bairstow.
In fact, the Bulls were so interested in acquiring Bairstow in the second round of the draft that they even considered trading up a second time in order to acquire his services. Luckily, Bairstow fell the 49th pick, where the Bulls jumped at the chance to select 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward who came to New Mexico from Australia.
As a senior, Bairstow really came into his own, leading the Lobos in scoring with 20.4 PPG to go along with 7.4 rebounds per game. He also shot better than 55 percent from the field and averaged 1.5 blocks per game last season.
Bairstow is a guy who plays solid defense and more importantly has a nice offensive game. He can score in the post but also has a nice mid-range game that is intriguing to the Bulls. He also is an experienced player with four years of college experience at New Mexico in addition to international experience for Australia.
Bairstow will be a power forward in the NBA, and with the Bulls planning to amnesty Carlos Boozer this offseason, Chicago will find itself short on depth in the frontcourt. This could give Bairstow, who led the Mountain West Conference in scoring last season, a chance to earn some minutes right away.
If the Bulls are able to land a big-name free agent such as Carmelo Anthony this offseason, depth will be hard to come by due to salary cap restraints. This means a player like Bairstow, who possesses some skill and versatility, could be called upon to play a role much sooner than expected.