Three former ISU players who could join Hoiberg in Chicago


Photo:Yue Wu/Iowa State Daily

Royce White helped end the ISU men’s basketball six-year NCAA tournament drought in Hoiberg’s second year as head coach in 2011-12. 

Now that Fred Hoiberg is the official head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the next question is, will any of his former players he coached at Iowa State join him in Chicago? There are many former Cyclones who could join him, but I speculate only three have a strong chance of becoming Bulls. 

1. Royce White, forward

ISU career stats: .534 field goal percentage, .333 3-point percentage, .498 free throw percentage, 9.3 rebounds per game, 5.0 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game, 0.9 blocks per game and 13.4 points per game. 

White is the most likely player to join Hoiberg. Shams Charania of RealGM tweeted on May 27, “Bulls, Pelicans emerging as suitors for Royce White’s NBA comeback in July, sources tell RealGM. Former 16th pick is deciding among several.”

It’s not shocking that White has several NBA teams interested in him because he was a former first round pick. However, White to the Bulls is looking dimer because according to a report by NBC Sports, White is close to a commitment to play for the Los Angeles Clippers Summer League team. If the Clippers don’t get White, the Bulls would need to factor in White’s mental health problems, which were the driving factors of him exiting the league. But if the Bulls do take a chance on White, they would get a guy who dropped 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals against the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League.

2. DeAndre Kane, guard

ISU career stats: .483 field goal percentage, .398 3-point percentage, .635 free throw percentage, 6.8 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game, .3 blocks per game, 1.2 steals per game and 17.1 points per game. 

Kane would add three factors to the Chicago guard rotation: health, youth and versatility.

Two of the Bulls’ four guards, Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose, have dealt with injuries this past year. The Bulls cannot expect a full 82-game season from Rose, who has had multiple knee surgeries during his career. And Hinrich is more prone to injuries now that he is 34 years old, which leads to my next factor — age.

Rose is 26, Hinrich is 34, Aaron Brooks is 30 and E’Twaun Moore is 26. Kane is only a year younger than Rose and Moore, but Rose’s years are numbered. Look what happened to Brandon Roy’s career?

The last thing Kane would add to the roster is versatility. Type in Chicago Bulls roster on Google, and at the top it will show all the players’ pictures with their position underneath. All of the guards are labeled point guards. DeAndre Kane could be the team’s only shooting guard because he was a scoring guard in college.

3. Melvin Ejim, forward

ISU career stats: .497 field goal percentage, .305 3-point percentage, .731 free throw percentage, 7.8 rebounds per game, 1.4 assists per game, 1.1 steals per game, 0.4 blocks per game and 12.2 points per game. 

If Ejim joins the Bulls, he would carve out a role similar to Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. In college, both players played either the third or fourth position on their respective teams. If you compare both collegiate careers, the numbers are similar. The only knock Ejim has is he is 6 feet 6 inches, compared to Green’s 6 feet 7 inches.