The Chicago Bulls need to start winning sooner rather than later, so I’m not so sure they hold onto this pick. Malaki Branham is very clearly the best player available at 18th overall, and while I don’t think the Bulls would be opposed to adding him to the roster, I’m not sure that it would be worth it for the team at this stage.
Rather, if I’m in the Bulls front office, I’m taking calls for Branham to see who can offer the best package for the young shooting guard. Branham was one of the most efficient scorers on all three levels in college basketball this past season, posting 50/42/83 shooting splits in his freshman season.
While he may not be the quickest or most explosive athlete in the draft, his length gives a bit of optimism that athleticism won’t be a big hindrance for him at the next level, particularly if his impressive shooting translates quickly.
Branham deserves to be taken off the board much higher than this and has a legitimate case to be selected in the lottery, so if he slides all the way to 18th on draft night, someone will be willing to trade for him if the Bulls aren’t thrilled to have him themselves. If a team selecting in the 20s would be willing to part with their pick and a good role player, the Bulls would likely be better off going in that direction.