John Jenkins Could Be Perfect for Bulls
It’s not easy finding game-changing talent with the 29th pick in the draft, and if the Chicago Bulls are being realistic, they realize that superstars aren’t typically passed over 28 times just so they can get a hold of them.
So when it comes to deciding which player to take with their late first-round pick on June 28th, the Bulls are going to have to find a good balance between selecting the best player available and filling some of their impending offensive needs. You could argue that Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins is both of those things.
“They said they need a shooter, a guy that can really open things up for D-Rose and just really open up the offense,” Jenkins said about his recent visit with the Bulls.
It was apparently an interview that went well, and Jenkins possesses a skill set that could prove to be valuable for Chicago.
Put as simply as possible, Jenkins scores a whole bunch of points. In each of his three seasons at Vanderbilt, he shot over 45 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three, and if Chicago takes advantage of the fact that Kyle Korver’s contract this next year isn’t fully guaranteed, Jenkins could be a perfect, inexpensive replacement for him.
“I think every shooting guard in the draft thinks they’re the best shooter, but I definitely work at it, to be the best,” Jenkins said, and there are plenty of scouts who would call him the best shooter in the draft.
He’s best spotting up off the ball, which is perfect for when Rose makes it back from his rehab sometime next spring. The knock, however, is shooting is sort of all Jenkins can do. He’s using his workouts to try and prove to teams that he’s capable of much more.
“I can handle the ball a little bit, and I’m definitely a willing defender and a good leader,” Jenkins said. “I think teams are starting to notice that in these workouts.”
If he can prove to be even mediocre at those two things, he could find himself ready to contribute for the Bulls early next season. He compares his game to some pretty accomplished scorers, not all of whom had to handle the ball or play great defense to enjoy long, successful NBA careers.
“I would say Ray Allen, and I like O.J. Mayo a lot, too,” Jenkins said in reference to player comparisons. “Reggie Miller and Allan Houston, those are two guys from back in the day that I look up to.”
Allen and Houston, for example, never did a whole lot more than score, either, and they did pretty well for themselves. The Bulls are reportedly seriously considering not picking up options on C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer for next season, and if neither is brought back and Korver is let go, too, Chicago will need to find some backcourt depth. Jenkins is one strong possibility to be precisely that, and his maturity and work ethic could make him a good fit for the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau’s system. Plus, he really wants to be there.
“You see Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, all the great coaches there, the championship banners, so it’s definitely motivation for me,” Jenkins said. “I would love to play for them.”
He’s probably not going to be a superstar, but he could fill a serious need for the Bulls, and he seems like the kind of guy Chicago tends to fall in love with. If he’s not the pick at #29, he’ll at least be seriously considered, and that could very well be the best thing for both Chicago and Jenkins.