May 17-- May 17--The Bulls won't be adding Texas Tech assistant coach Mark Adams to their staff. They might be adding one of Adams' pupils.
"He's a difference maker. He's a hard-working man," Jarrett Culver said of Adams, who chose to stay in Lubbock, Texas, after interviewing with the Bulls. "At Tech, we think he's a genius. He makes everybody improve on defense."
Culver, who spoke Thursday at the NBA draft combine that continues Friday at Quest Multisport, projects to help the defense of whichever team drafts him in June. The sophomore shooting guard helped lead Texas Tech to the NCAA national championship game with his mix of defense and scoring. He measured 6 feet, 6 3/4 inches in shoes and is in the Nos. 4-9 range in most mock drafts.
"I take pride in defense," Culver said. "People don't realize how competitive I am and my mentality. I watch Michael Jordan and Kobe (Bryant) a lot, just trying to get that mentality from them and seeing how they take over games."
After Tuesday's deflating NBA draft lottery result that dropped them three slots to the No. 7 pick, the Bulls got to work this week. They interviewed Duke wing Cam Reddish on Wednesday, and executive vice president John Paxson, general manager Gar Forman, coach Jim Boylen, senior adviser Doug Collins and other management members sat in the front row to scout Thursday's action.
Culver, Reddish and North Carolina point guard Coby White project to possibly be available if the Bulls keep their pick.
Though the 6-8 Reddish didn't play with Wendell Carter Jr., he said he's "really good friends" with the Bulls big man. And making similar comments that Carter made at this event last year when asked about playing in Marvin Bagley III's shadow, Reddish confidently addressed playing in the shadow of surefire No. 1 pick Zion Williamson and likely top-three pick RJ Barrett.
Reddish's shooting ability is creating most of his pre-draft buzz.
"I feel like I can do everything," Reddish said. "I feel like I was more of a shooter this year, but I don't really want to think of myself as a shooter. I can do a variety of things."
Reddish directly tackled the stigma that has affected his draft standing for some -- that he at times can drift and play low energy. He jumped to defend himself when asked about the biggest misperception of his game.
"My personality is kind of reserved," Reddish said. "People might take that as lazy or too laid back. But that's just not who I am. In fact, whoever drafts me is getting someone who can do it all, both sides of the floor, somebody who will compete every night. I'm ready."
So is White. Paxson said after the draft lottery that the Bulls aren't ruling out anything regarding the pick. That includes a trade. And he acknowledged that if players are ranked similarly, positional need could take precedent over the team's typical philosophy of drafting the best player available.
Paxson has said he wants to upgrade the point guard position.
"I'm a point guard," White said emphatically when asked if he's a point or shooting guard.
The answer seemed telling because White, who measured 6-4 3/4 in shoes, surpassed Michael Jordan's record for most points by a North Carolina freshman.
"Put the ball in my hands," White said.
White is very familiar with the Bulls. He attended the Oct. 18 game in Philadelphia when Zach LaVine scored 30 points in a loss. He has the same agent as Kris Dunn. And White and Carter were in the same AAU program.
And what do you know? White speaks with the proper reverence when it comes to Jordan.
"Michael Jordan is the GOAT, the greatest to ever do it," White said. "To break his record means a lot. It's humbling and it's a blessing at the same time."
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