The Bulls take Wendell Carter Jr., Chandler Hutchison in the first round of the NBA Draft

CHICAGO – If the Bulls have hopes to one day contend for an NBA Championship again, Thursday figured to be a critical day in that process.

With two picks in the first round – the 7th and 22nd selections – John Paxson had a chance to accelerate the team’s rebuild with the addition of a pair of young players. The question, of course, is what the Bulls would do to make that happen.

Would they go with a versatile forward or perhaps a point guard? Perhaps they try to trade up in an attempt to get a better impact player for the franchise. In a draft with a number of questions outside of the first pick, the Bulls were certainly one of the variables in the selection process.

But in the end the Bulls stayed with their picks, selecting forward Wendell Carter Jr out of Duke with their first selection in the first round and then Boise State forward Chandler Hutchison with the 22nd overall pick.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Carter played one season with the Blue Devils, averaging 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He provides the Bulls a versatile forward that can play at a number of spots on the floor, a trait which Paxson said after the regular season that he was looking at out of a draft pick.

Carter arrived with the Blue Devils from Pace Academy as the No. 4 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 according to ESPN. He was a McDonald’s All-American and quickly found his way into a major role for Duke, starting all 37 games in the 2017-2018 season.

Over the course of the season, Carter set Duke freshman records for rebounds (335), blocked shots (76), and double-doubles (16). The effort earned him a second-team All-ACC selection and a unanimous first team All-ACC Freshman Team.

A native of Mission Viejo, California, Hutchison played four years at Boise State, flourishing in his final two seasons with the Broncos.

Inserted full time into the lineup in 2016-2017, the forward averaged 17 points per game while shooting 49.5 percent from the field while also grabbin 7.8 rebounds a contest. The point total went to 20 a game this past season, one in which he was a first team All-Mountain West team selection and the media’s conference player of the year.

Shortly after the NBA Combine, Hutchison canceled his other workouts with teams when the Bulls reportedly promised to take him at No. 22. Neither he nor the team confirmed that on Thursday, but as expected, Chandler’s putting on a Bulls jersey this year.