Apparently, Jim Boylen is cool now.
No, for real. Just this past week, for example, Boylen flew to Hamburg, Germany to watch new Bulls point guard Tomas Satoransky compete with the Czech Republic National Team (and that long overseas journey came after trips to Finland and Brazil to see Lauri Markkanen and Cristiano Felicio). What a guy.
Well, during his time in Germany, Boylen spoke with the Czech media about what Satoransky brings to the table, and that felt worth exploring further, especially as it relates to the broader point guard discussion. Let’s start with his comments.
We’ve heard Satoransky praise the head coach a bit in the past, but we have yet to really hear about what Boylen thinks of the roster addition.
“Here he plays as in the NBA – intelligently, makes the game easier for others, tries to defend, communicates well. He impressed me with his physical condition and the good shape he has in this part of the summer,” Boylen told reporters.
He later commented on Satoransky’s ability to push the tempo, which is great, because any time Boylen will recognize the team’s need to play fast feels like a breath of fresh air.
If the Bulls have taught me anything it’s to not believe it, until you see it, but the recent PG additions – Satoransky and Coby White – play some of their best basketball in transition, which can be especially good for the rookie. Specifically, if Satoransky ends up as the opening night starter (as anticipated), he’ll be able to help guide the offense into this more fast-paced style of gameplay which will ease the adjustment for White.
But while Satoransky feels like a lock, the starting lineup isn’t set in stone yet, and Boylen has made that clear. He was asked about some past comments on the starting rotation earlier this offseason, which included Kris Dunn in the starting five. At the time, we believe this was greatly taken out of context, and Boylen seemed to confirm exactly that.
“I wanted to say that in our game system we have a good player who has been playing with us for a long time and that I like. Whether Kris is or is not in the baseline, that may change, because now I will not promise anyone the base five,” Boylen said. “However, Kris is an important part of our game and our team and I look forward to great performance from him.”
Every other starting position on the team is pretty clear, but a battle for the helm is sure to take place at training camp. Satoransky may have been brought in on a three-year $30 million contract, but a designated number of minutes on the court wasn’t in the fine print.
“I was very honest with him and I think he understood,” Boylen said. “I don’t promise players minutes, I just promise them a challenging coaching approach, an effort to do things right, and build something for Chicago. I think he liked it. That we want to act as a team and represent our city as best as possible. His talent is important to us and we took it for his character traits.”
Ah, it wouldn’t be a post about Jim Boylen without a mention of a player’s “character.”
With training camp only about a month away, Boylen’s commute time will quickly diminish. But let’s hope all this extra work put in will help him make the right decisions early-on this season, especially when it comes to figuring out his messy point guard situation.
*Note: All interviews have been translated to English from Czech. Therefore, translation may not be exact.