One of the Chicago Bulls’ draft picks is getting some much-deserved love for his performance in the Summer League, but it might not be who you think.
Forward Daniel Gafford was named to the USA Today Sports Media Group’s All-Rookie first team. Gafford picked up 30 total points from the nine-person panel, which was enough to land a spot in the all-rookie squad’s front court. Gafford was joined by fellow frontcourt mates Brandon Clarke (Grizzlies) and Jaxson Hayes (Pelicans), as well as backcourt members Carsen Edwards (Celtics) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Pelicans).
You can check out the All-Rookie Teams here, but I’d like to share some expanded thoughts on Gafford’s summertime performance.
The obligatory “it’s just the Summer League” caveat goes here, but Gafford opened eyes as he averaged 13.8 points on 68 percent shooting from the field, snagged 7.8 rebounds, and averaged 2.8 blocks in five games. But it’s more about how he got to those numbers than it is about him getting them. Gafford mixed in noticeable energy, thunderous dunks, fierce denials, and solid rebounding prowess throughout his five-game stint in the Summer League. More importantly, he appeared to develop a nice rapport with fellow rookie Coby White, whose performance we discussed earlier today. The blooming connection between the rookie standouts could pay off when the season begins, as White and Gafford will likely share time on the floor when games that count in the standings get underway.
It will be a while until the Bulls hit the court again. In the meantime, let’s enjoy some of Gafford’s best work from his time in Vegas:
DANIEL GAFFORD HIGHLIGHT PACKAGE ALERT!
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 14, 2019