2022 NBA Mock Draft Roundup: Latest Bulls projections at 18th pick

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Mock Draft Roundup: Latest Bulls first-round projections originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The 2022 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching, which means mock draft season is in full force.

Here is a roundup of the latest expert projections as it relates to the Bulls' options with the 18th overall pick, which they will have the option to make or trade come Thursday:

The Ringer: Jalen Williams, G/F, Santa Clara

Williams has been a late — but rapid — riser up draft boards because of an impressive combine showing and an intriguing prospect profile, predicated on his length (he stands 6-foot-7 with a 7-2 wingspan) playmaking proficiency and improved jump-shooting (he rocketed his 3-point percentage from 27.4 to 39.6 percent between his sophomore and junior years).

His offensive versatility screams modern NBA, and wing depth is among the Bulls' critical needs to address this offseason.

2022 NBA Draft Profile: Jalen Williams, Santa Clara

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The Athletic: Mark Williams, C, Duke

Williams is an imposing physical presence, standing 7-foot-2 with a 7-7 wingspan and 9-9 standing reach that each ranked first among prospects measured at the combine. That he swatted 2.8 shots per game in his sophomore season at Duke cemented him as an elite rim-protecting prospect.

The Bulls' glaring need for size, interior defense and rebounding, combined with the upside Williams' preternatural athleticism foreshadows, make him a tantalizing option if he were to slip into the late teens (he's been widely projected as a late lottery pick for much of this cycle).

2022 NBA Draft Profile: Mark Williams, Duke

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Sports Illustrated: Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas

Agbaji, 22, is longer in the tooth than most who will be selected in the lottery or late teens. But he also profiles as an NBA-ready 3-and-D wing, having molded himself into one of the most reliable sharpshooters in college basketball throughout his four-year career.

To that point: In the 2021-22 season, Agbaji drilled 40.7 percent of his 3s (6.5 attempts per game) and averaged 18.8 points while supplying sturdy defense on the perimeter for the national champion Jayhawks.

2022 NBA Draft Profile: Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

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ESPN: Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State

Branham is one of the more intriguing shot-creators projected to go in the late-lottery to late-teens range. He finished his freshman year at Ohio State averaging 13.7 points on impressive 59.6 percent true shooting (49.8 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from 3), especially given how much of his offense was self-created.

If drafted by the Bulls, Branham would be a viable second-unit scoring option for a team in need of just that, with the potential to grow into something more as he ages (he turned 19 in May).

2022 NBA Draft Profile: Malaki Branham, Ohio State

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NBC Sports Chicago: E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State

In Liddell could be an option that straddles the line between upside and rotation readiness. His ability to guard the rim and perimeter on defense and knock down spot-up jumpers on offense (he shot 37.4 percent from 3-point range as a junior) would add two-way versatility to a frontcourt in need of reinforcements.

If selected, he'd also represent the second three-year Big 10 player drafted by the Bulls in the last two drafts along with Ayo Dosunmu in 2021.

2022 NBA Draft Profile: E.J. Liddell, Ohio State

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