Evan Fournier, No. 29 (Mock)
France’s next big thing could pay immediate dividends in Chicago.
by Bryan Crawford / @_BryanCrawford
Derrick Rose’s torn ACL changed everything in Chicago. The ‘11-12 season was the Bulls’ best shot at winning a title, but it all came crashing down late in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Like Jay-Z said in Izzo, “I seen hoop dreams deflate like a true fiend’s weight.”
Eight-to-12 months is the prognosis for when DRose should be able to return to action. And that’s just playing. It’ll be even longer before we see a fully healthy and confident Derrick Rose, and even then, he may not be the player he once was.
As a result, the Bulls front office has a lot of decisions to make. This team needs help on the perimeter—someone who can create his own shot; put the ball on the floor; and take pressure off Rose. Rarely do you find a player so late in the Draft who can fill such an important role and be a rotation guy from day one.
This kid might be able to do it.
With the 29th pick in the 2012 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Chicago Bulls select…
Evan Fournier from Poitiers Basket in France.
The great thing about drafting international players is—outside of NBA personnel whose job is to know about these players—the general public has no idea who they are. But here at SLAMonline, it’s our job. Crack open your copy issue of Issue 160 and flip to page 18 if you need proof.
Despite being just 19 years old, Evan Fournier is the real deal. And it’s not hyperbole to say.
At 6-7, he can put the ball on the floor and get to the hole and finish—something the Bulls have lacked on the perimeter since the days of Ben Gordon. While he may not be very accurate right now (Fournier shot 27.7 percent from beyond the arc last season), given his excellent mechanics, that can be easily corrected.
He’s also a capable and willing passer, as he sees the floor well and will typically make the raved “right play.”
In just two years of playing professional basketball in France, Fournier went from averaging 6.4 points at 14 minutes per game to putting up 14 points per game in 26 minutes in his second season. In fact, he showed statistical improvement in just about every category from year one to year two.
Fournier plays with poise and doesn’t get rattled easily, which is eerily reminiscent of fellow Frenchman Tony Parker. We’ve all seen how Parker’s been one of the best point guards in the NBA since he stepped off the plane in San Antonio.
A blank slate, Fournier could be coached up by Tom Thibodeau to be an effective perimeter defender. By the ‘13-14 season, when the Bulls will be once again ready to make their run, Fournier could end up being the Bulls’ missing piece on the perimeter who will help lead Chicago to its seventh NBA title.
But if you’re still not convinced, just take a look for yourself.
|2012 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|1||Hornets||Anthony Davis||16||Rockets||Tyler Zeller|
|2||Bobcats||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||17||Mavs||Fab Melo|
|3||Wizards||Brad Beal||18||TWolves||Dion Waiters|
|4||Cavs||Thomas Robinson||19||Magic||Terrence Ross|
|5||Kings||Jared Sullinger||20||Nuggets||Royce White|
|6||Blazers||Andre Drummond||21||Celtics||Moe Harkless|
|7||Warriors||Harrison Barnes||22||Celtics||Andrew Nicholson|
|8||Raptors||Damian Lillard||23||Hawks||Jeffrey Taylor|
|9||Pistons||John Henson||24||Cavs||Will Barton|
|10||Hornets||Jeremy Lamb||25||Grizzlies||Tony Wroten|
|11||Blazers||Kendall Marshall||26||Pacers||Draymond Green|
|12||Bucks||Meyers Leonard||27||Heat||Quincy Miller|
|13||Suns||Perry Jones III||28||Thunder||Kevin Jones|
|14||Rockets||Austin Rivers||29||Bulls||Evan Fournier|