CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls selected Wendell Carter Jr. with the seventh pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.

Carter, who averaged 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds in his lone season at Duke, should be able to help stretch the floor in head coach Fred Hoiberg’s offense.

General manager Gar Forman said the Bulls had some discussions about trading up, but nothing materialized. The Bulls were pleased with how Carter, 19, performed in his workout in Chicago several weeks ago, and front office members were particularly impressed by his presence.

The Bulls are hopeful that Carter will pair nicely with young big man Lauri Markkanen, who made the NBA’s All-Rookie first team last season.

Carter said he’s ready to put in the work and do “whatever they ask me to do” to fit into the Bulls’ system.

“We’re going to complement one another on both ends of the court,” Carter said, referring to his pairing with Markkanen. “It’s very similar to who I played with at Duke, Marvin Bagley.”

The Bulls also had the No. 22 pick in the first round and took Boise State shooting guard Chandler Hutchison. With Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn already in the fold, the Bulls like their makeup.

“This is a really good night for our organization,” executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson told reporters. “We feel like when you look at where we were a year ago and what we decided to do, and one year later, we feel like we have added five really good pieces to build (around). That’s important to us. … We’re excited about the direction we’re headed.”

Carter was one of two Blue Devils to go in the top 10 of the draft, along with Bagley, who went to the Sacramento Kings as the No. 2 pick.

“It feels good,” Carter said. “From the first practice where we met each other at Duke, to now both walking across the stage … and both top 10 picks — it’s an honor.”

Forman acknowledged that Carter needs to improve his lateral quickness. Carter insisted, however, that he has made “a huge improvement” with his foot speed.

“It’s something I was working on night in and night out,” he said. “I definitely showcased that in the workouts. It definitely paid off, all the work.”

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.



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