Neither Kirk Hinrich nor Ben Gordon is necessarily a true point guard, but it’s not likely the Bulls would look to fill that position with the No. 9 pick of the June 28 NBA draft.
Ohio State freshman Mike Conley Jr. didn’t let that apparent lack of need deter him on Saturday when he performed a solo workout at the Berto Center.
“I love the city of Chicago, love the Bulls,” Conley said. “I don’t assume anything. I have no idea where I’m going to get picked. So I’m taking all precautions. I’m working out for teams that I feel I could have a good chance of being drafted.
“After watching (the Bulls) I noticed their style of play is really up and down, really guard-oriented. Their guards do a lot of work, they get their teammates involved a lot and are very unselfish. I like that about the team.”
The 6-foot-1 Conley’s draft status is tough to predict. He could go as high as No. 3 to Atlanta or still be around when the Bulls select ninth. Every team from 3 to 7 can list point guard as a potential need.
Asked to compare himself to another player. Conley chose the recently named MVP of the NBA Finals.
“I’d probably have to say right now Tony Parker is the best comparison,” he said. “Pretty much the ability to penetrate, get into the lane at will, create plays offensively by himself. I feel like I do a lot of similar things.”
If Conley does last until the ninth pick or beyond, one rumor has Portland interested in trading for another first-rounder so it can match Conley with center Greg Oden. Those two players are good friends and were teammates in high school, college and AAU.
“That would be wonderful to play with him again at the next level, but it’s not necessarily a goal,” Conley said. “We understand, coming to this level, we might have to split up. That’s the risk we have to take by going to the NBA, so we weren’t planning on playing together again.”
Technically, Conley hasn’t signed with an agent. But both he and Oden will be represented by Conley’s dad, Mike, who came along for the trip to the Berto Center.
Mike Conley Sr. is the former Olympic triple jumper who won a gold medal in 1992. He grew up in Chicago and attended Luther South High School, but now lives in Indianapolis.
Decision due for draft: Underclassmen who have not signed with an agent have until Monday to pull out of the NBA draft and return to college. Among the top prospects yet to announce a decision are centers Spencer Hawes and Jason Smith.
Both players interest the Bulls, but neither is expected to pull out of the draft. Georgetown’s Jeff Green, a potential top-10 pick, is reportedly undecided.
Chandler update: The official reason for DePaul’s Wilson Chandler skipping a workout with the Bulls this week was an ankle injury, not a shoulder injury, as was written here.
One league source suggested the reason Chandler has stopped working out for teams is he expects to be chosen by New York with the 23rd pick, which would be an eye-opener. Most projections have the 6-8 forward going in the second round.