A lot of uncertainty still remains with the NBA Draft just weeks away on Nov. 18th. Prospects like Deni Avdija are all going through interviews with organizations, but it’s still unknown as to who will go No. 1 overall after the college season was cut short due to the pandemic.
Enter Deni Avdija. A 19-year old Israeli small forward who is projected to be a top-five pick this month after lighting it up for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the EuroLeague. According to reports, the Chicago Bulls are interested in going after Avdija is he’s still available at No. 4 overall in NBA Draft.
Frankly, this could be a great move for the Bulls if the opportunity does present itself. Like most teams, Chicago needs more depth on the wing. Otto Porter Jr. has impressed at times, but he’s been very injury-prone since being acquired from Washington in Feb. of 2019.
Avdija is the most exciting international prospect in this year’s NBA Draft class and could fit in nicely with their young core in the Windy City. Adding another player with a high ceiling alongside guard Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr., and Zach LaVine could be a fantastic move.
Although Deni Avdija played a limited role for Tel Aviv as they contended for a EuroLeague title last season, he showed a lot of promise and maturity against players much older than him. The youngster averaged seven points, four boards, and just under two assists in 19 minutes per contest.
However, that experience as an NBA Draft prospect at one of the top levels in the world will absolutely help his development once he actually joins the NBA. Having already won back-to-back FIBA U-20 European Championships with Israel in 2018 and 19′ while being named the tournament MVP in the latter, Avdija, by no surprise, plays with loads of confidence.
At 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds, he’s a versatile and athletic wing player who can shoot the ball efficiently, facilitate, and hold his own defensively. Although he didn’t shoot great from long range with Tel Aviv, he has a smooth stroke and a lot of potential to drain three’s with more development.
Despite his size, Avdija is a speedy player who does a good job of using his handles to get to the rim and finish. Defensively, he’s a lot more advanced than a lot of players at this age. Being able to contribute on both ends of the court immediately in the NBA will attract many teams and has been one of the main reasons Chicago has shown serious interest.
Also, with Otto Porter Jr. always injured, Deni Avdija could step right into a starting role under new head coach Billy Donovan, who is great at getting the most out of his players. For example, last season with the Thunder, he lost both of his stars in Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Instead of residing to the fact that it could be a rebuilding year, Donovan did a tremendous job of developing the likes of second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in particular, who was one of their best guys. Along with the likes of Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari showing out, OKC had a very impressive campaign.
This could be the perfect coach for Avdija to play for right off the bat. Donovan will hone his talents and give him ample opportunity to prove himself. With the small forward position in Chicago needing immediate reinforcement, Avdija could be the answer.
The Bulls just need one or two more pieces in order to become somewhat of a contender again. Deni Avdija has experience professionally which gives him a leg up on his fellow prospects in this NBA Draft class. With an all-around versatile skill-set, he could be the ideal first-round pick for Chicago on Nov. 18th.