It makes perfect sense for Reggie Bullock to enter the NBA draft, as he and North Carolina confirmed Tuesday he will do. It’s a weak draft year for small forwards, Bullock aptly demonstrated his ability to play the position this season, and with family to support in Kinston, it’s as good a time as any for Bullock to cash in on his talent. If he lands in the right spot, he’ll do well.
For the Tar Heels, Bullock’s departure isn’t the worst news, not after P.J. Hairston decided to return. As much as Bullock will be missed, for his experience, rebounding and defense as much as his shooting, losing both would have dealt a prospectively fatal blow to North Carolina’s perimeter scoring ability. With Hairston back, along with Leslie McDonald and J.P. Tokoto, there are enough pieces in place.
Bullock isn’t a lock for the first round, but he’ll have a shot if he does well in workouts. And even if he slips to the second round, he can look to Danny Green, who has found a home in San Antonio’s starting lineup the past two seasons.
“He’s got the skills to translate to a complimentary guy in the NBA,” said draft analyst Joe Kotoch of probasketballdraft.com. “Coming out this year or next year shouldn’t make too big of a difference for him. If anything, coming out this year gives him a stronger chance of sliding into the first round.”
Bullock’s departure does place higher stakes on the impending decision by consensus No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins, the one-and-done Canadian small forward who is considering North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State and has drawn comparisons to LeBron James.
ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep said Wiggins is so talented that it won’t matter to his decision calculus whether Bullock is there or not -- “If this kid’s worrying about anyone ahead of him, he’s not the kid we think he is,” Telep said -- but it certainly matters to the Tar Heels.