We’re only a few days out from the 2022 NBA Draft and CHGO is examining prospects who could be in the Chicago Bulls range with their 18th pick. Let’s look into the junior forward out of Wake Forest, Jake LaRavia’s NBA Draft profile:
Here are my notes, including strengths, weaknesses or question marks, and potential fit with the Bulls should they take him at 18.
38% Jr Year at WF, 37.1% in 3 college seasons
Consistent release, set shot
No bad misses
Gets feet under him
Willing, smart ball mover
Great size, length and positioning — Will have success as a team defender and potentially big wing defender at the NBA level
2.7 steal rate, 3.0 block rate — super high, good indicators of success
5 players have put up those steal and block numbers in addition to his 38.4 percent on threes since 2009-10 (Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Mikal Bridges among them)
Good combo of strength, length, footwork and reaction time
Contests shots without fouling
Good on and off ball — good awareness and positioning
Shows some ability to attack closeouts, get all the way to the rim and finish
Question marks and weaknesses
Not quick enough to stay in front of guards — primarily going to be a power forward or second best wing defender. Valuable, but not giving you that star defender upside
Won’t be a chase defender
Will he be good enough to guard best players?
Has shown some ability to attack closeouts, finish through contact
Limited creation upside
Role and potential fit with Bulls
LaRavia was awesome in his Junior season at Wake Forest and is a prototypical big wing three-and-D option for the Bulls at 18. I have cautioned against the Bulls picking for fit, but in this instance, LaRavia would not only be a great fit and immediate contributor, but also could well be the best player on the board.
He’s talented in every area the Bulls lack and has the ability to come in and be one of the team’s only two-way players from day one. He’d be a slightly boring pick because of the lack of star upside, but it’s unrealistic to hit on a potential star with the 18th pick.
LaRavia won’t wow you much, but the Bulls don’t really need that. They need reliable contributors down the lineup and LaRavia will be exactly that for whichever team drafts him.