Wendell Carter Jr. Has Missed Some Serious Time, But It Could Be a Lot Worse and Other Bulls Bullets

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Wendell Carter Jr. Has Missed Some Serious Time, But It Could Be a Lot Worse and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I just closed a ton of tabs on my computer. I feel like a new man. Some might say, reborn.

•   Believe it or not, out of the 2018 lottery picks, Wendell Carter Jr. hasn’t appeared in the least amount of games. While it feels like he’s turned into quite the injury-prone player, Carter Jr. has still appeared in 87 games over his two seasons and started every single one. Say what you will, but that’s still some decent experience when compared to No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley (75 games with 10 starts) or No. 14 pick Michael Porter Jr. (48 games with 1 start). Additionally, he’s earned more valuable court time than the pick that came before him, Mo Bamba – who’s started only two of his 107 games and has never averaged more than 16.3 minutes per game. None of this means we shouldn’t be worried about the time Carter Jr. has missed, but it points out things could be way worse.

•   I mean, while on the court, Carter Jr. has played a pivotal role for this Bulls team. In fact, I think many of us have forgotten that he arguably looked like the team’s best player during several games at the beginning of the season. Despite inconsistent minutes totals and a system that forced him to play all out of whack (both thanks to Jim Boylen), Carter Jr. still averaged a double-double over the first 37 games of the season. Named to the Rising Stars roster in January, we still have a number of reasons to be optimistic about his future in this organization (one being … he’s still just 21-years-old). And if anyone can benefit from a new head coach and system, it would 100 percent be Carter Jr. Offensively, he’s capable of so much more than 11.3 points per game. He has quick feet and a smooth jumper, that needs to be taken advantage of moving forward. The Carter Jr. we saw this season was far too passive and lacked any real urgency when it came to scoring the basketball. We need to see him force opposing defenses to respect him from the mid-range, and, eventually, beyond the 3-point line. In general, as literally the second-worst offense in the NBA this season, there is no reason we shouldn’t see Carter Jr. play a much bigger role on this side of the ball next season.

•   Michael Jordan spoke with the Charlotte Observer about his $100 million donation and why everyone must play a role in ending systemic racism.

•   LET THE GAMES BEGIN! Derrick Rose Week on NBC Sports Chicago starts tonight with Rose’s historic playoff debut in 2009 against the Boston Celtics. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be tuning in.

•   Rose > Everyone else

•   Bleacher Report says Kris Dunn is a free agent the Bulls can’t afford to lose this offseason … I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, I would have no problem if he accepted his qualifying offer and played for the Bulls next season. After all, he’s turned into a lockdown defender that any team would be happy to have. But this organization doesn’t need to go out of its way to ensure Dunn is in a Bulls uniform moving forward. I like the guy, but I think this relationship is coming to a natural end.

•   (1) Why the hell was this ever made and (2) did that person really just call the 72-win Bulls overrated?

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.