The Cleveland Cavaliers will have the first pick and the 19th pick in this upcoming draft. In the next few weeks here at Right Down Euclid, we will be profiling players the Cavaliers might draft in the first round on June 27th. Today, we profile Reggie Bullock.
Tale of the Tape
Name: Reggie Bullock
College: North Carolina
Weight: 200 lbs.
Honors: 2013 All-ACC 2nd Team
2012-2013 Per Game Stats: 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 48.3 FG%, 43.6 3PT%, 76.7 FT%
2013 NCAA Tournament Stats: 15/3/4 vs. Villanova; 1-of-7, five points, six rebounds vs. Kansas
Reggie Bullock is an intriguing player for the Cavaliers to consider with the 19th pick in the draft. Bullock looks like your prototypical “3 & D” guy, someone who is a big factor on both ends of the floor and a big piece to many currently successful NBA teams. Bullock has some athletic question marks, but his game has definitely shown to translate well to the modern NBA. In the quest to retool the Cavaliers bench, a player like Bullock would really be worth considering.
(Via the ACC Digital Network)
Bullock has impressive size for a wing player at 6’7” with a wingspan of just over 6’9”. He’s versatile, able to play shooting guard or small forward and should be able to do both adequately at the next level. He’s not the greatest athlete, lacking explosion, great leaping ability and agility, but he does have good quickness and adequate strength to compensate for that. Among the late first-round crop of wing prospects, Bullock scored the second best three-quarter court sprint time and max vertical behind Tim Hardaway Jr. Bullock could stand to add a little more strength as well but will be fine in that department where he is, especially if he’s going to be spending most of his time at shooting guard.
Offensively, Bullock is most effective from the three-point line and on the break. Bullock shot an outstanding 44 percent from deep last year, and they’re a huge part of his offense, as he attempted nearly six threes per game last season. He’s comfortable taking deep threes, corner threes and shooting with a hand in his face, making him a real weapon for an offense and someone who needs to have a man on him on the perimeter. Bullock is also very good moving without the ball, great at moving off screens or cutting to the rim and is particularly dangerous on baseline cuts. On the break, Bullock is equally adept at finishing himself or making the correct pass to find an open teammate, which makes him dangerous in transition as well. He’s not someone you want creating for himself, as he’s not a good dribbler, but he finishes well and can create space for himself without the ball in his hands. Bullock’s one area of necessary improvement is his mid-range game, where he really struggles, but he’s efficient enough at threes and at the rim that he will still be an effective role player right away in the NBA.
Bullock is a willing defender, even though he doesn’t have the best physical tools to be a defensive juggernaut. He’s extremely active and smart on this end, hounding opponents with active hands and creating bad situations for opposing perimeter players. He does allow players to drive on him a bit too much, but while he does this, he does a good job of remaining with his man and steering him towards\ rim protectors. He could use a little more muscle to prevent bigger small forwards from posting him up, but there’s a reason UNC often stuck Bullock on the opponent’s best wing during the past two seasons, even when Harrison Barnes was on roster. My one concern with Bullock is that his activity and tendency to apply high pressure might lead to a lot of fouls on the perimeter, but this is something that he will be able to refine as he grows on that end. Bullock’s defensive potential is very, very good.
The thing that really excites me about Bullock is that there’s no worry about him struggling to work himself into a complimentary role. He’s already there, having played the “3 & D” role at UNC. He also has shown that he can swing a game by himself, such as his 22/13/3 game in a win over N.C. State, and he owned Maryland small forward Dezmine Wells, posting 24/5, 19/12 and 15/9/4 in three wins over the Terps. He has a high basketball IQ and is very active on both ends of the floor, which will do him well at the next level. Bullock has all the tools to be a great role player in the NBA.
Raja Bell is a good comparison for Bullock. Bell, who didn’t play this season but was a stud three-point shooter and defensive player for the Seven Seconds or Less Suns with Steve Nash, made up for a lack of athleticism and quickness with a beautiful three-point shot and very active defensive game. Bullock fits the mold of Bell’s game quite well, even though Bullock is a little bigger, which makes him more enticing. Bullock makes you say “this guy will kill it as a rotation player on a contender,” much in the same way Bell did for the Jazz and the Suns in the mid-00s. If Bullock ends up similar to Bell, with a couple of All-Defense nods, 40 percent from three for his career and a couple legendary spats with opponents along the way (much like Bell’s battles with Kobe during his Suns days), that’s a successful career.
How Does He Fit on the Cavaliers?
Bullock is basically a bigger and better version of Alonzo Gee, so I can see him as an excellent fit on the Cavs. Bullock would need to develop for a couple seasons, but I can definitely see him making an impact off the bench for the Cavs next season. In an ideal situation, Bullock and Gee will platoon next year behind whoever the Cavs sign in free agency, and then Bullock transitions into the eventual starter, much like we saw Kawhi Leonard do with the Spurs last season behind Richard Jefferson. In the meantime, Bullock will be able to play both wing spots, guard whoever the Cavs don’t want Dion Waiters or C.J. Miles on and basically do what Byron Scott tried to do with Gee this season only with a lot more success. Even more so than Sergey Karasev, who I profiled earlier this week, I like the idea of taking Bullock with the 19th pick. It might be a little early for him, but he fits the Cavs needs, and this is a good environment for him, so I can see this being a good landing spot for him.