The New York Knicks have their biggest needs at point guard and in their frontcourt. However, they maintain that they will be targeting the best player available with the 24th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Could swingman Reggie Bullock from North Carolina be talented enough for the Knicks to ignore their needs and bring him to New York?
Reggie Bullock is a 6'7", 200 pound shooting guard/small forward who attended North Carolina. He was ranked the sixteenth best prospect in the nation and is the third best shooting guard in the nation coming out of high school in the class of 2010.
He was named the 2009-10 Associated Press Men’s Prep Basketball Player of the Year, was a 2010 Jordan Brand Classic Team Selection, a 2010 McDonald’s All-American Team Selection, named 2010 North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and named to the Second Team All-ACC in 2013.
The main weapon Bullock has on offense his as a three-point threat. He can stretch the floor with the threat and nail spot-up jumps from all around the perimeter. In fact, he's one of the top three-point shooting small forward prospects in this draft.
Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork reports Bullock could be a good fit for the Knicks at number 24.
Last season, the Knicks were sometimes missing a mobile shooter in half-court sets, like a Kyle Korver or J.J. Redick type, who could run baseline to baseline and come off screens quickly and shoot with range. A player like that would've sparked more movement at times in the Knicks' offense, giving them a different look from downtown instead of mostly stationary setups.
Not only is Bullock one of the best shooters in the draft — from deep and coming off midrange screens — but he's also a skilled defender, which appeals to Mike Woodson. Last season, as a junior, the 6-foot-7, 200-pound Bullock hit 43.6 percent of his 3s and he guarded the opposing team's top perimeter scorer nearly every game, averaging 1.3 steals.
"I just try to be there on the catch and contest all shots," Bullock said after his Knicks workout on Thursday. "If I was to come in and be a Knick, I know that coach is definitely defensive-minded and I like playing defense."
Bullock also runs the floor very well and can be dangerous in the transition offense. He also contributes on the offensive boards. He has good speed and finishes around the rim with good body control. He's only an average ball handler and lacks the burst to beat his man to the paint consistently in one-on-one situations and in the pick and roll.
He doesn't have great explosiveness but he has good size for a small forward and nearly a 6'10" wingspan. On top of that, he has trouble creating his own shot. He seems destined to play a Steve Novak role as a long-range spot-up shooter.
However, Bullock's size and high activity level makes him a solid defender. At North Carolina he was asked to stop the opposition's best perimeter scorers. However, his lateral quickness is a concern with quicker NBA players who could very beat him off the dribble. However, he has nice potential on the defensive end of the floor. He also does a nice job rebounding on the defensive end.
Bullock looks like he has a future as a glue player and role player off the bench at the NBA level. He's a very good three point shooter, has good size, a solid defender and does the little things teams need from their reserves.
"I like how Ray Allen shoots the ball, I like how Danny Green shoots the ball, I like Paul George," Bullock said. "He defends, he shoots 3s, he comes off screens, he puts the ball on the floor. I like how Kawhi Leonard rebounds at his position, so I just try to pick a lot of pieces from all their games and just try to be Reggie Bullock."
Moving forward, Bullock should be able to add some definition and size to his frame, work on his dribbling ability and improve his mid-range game. If so, he'll be a contributor at the NBA level off the bench. He's someone to look for as a selection late in the first round.
“We’ve had 12 guys leave early and all of them have been with my blessing, but I was more concerned and am more concerned about Reggie,” Williams told a Tar Heel Tour crowd at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Thursday. “I deal with them straight forward. I don’t mess around. I tell them exactly what I think. I didn’t think that was the best thing for Reggie to do, but that’s what he wanted to do.”
That being said, if the Knicks did decide to bring Bullock to New York there's little doubt that fellow Tar Heal Raymond Felton would take Bullock under his wing and help him transition to the next level.