WE ARE ONE MONTH FROM THE NBA SEASON.
I REPEAT: WE ARE ONE MONTH FROM THE NBA SEASON.
THAT MEANS WE ARE ONE MONTH AND ONE DAY AWAY FROM THE BULLS SEASON.
I REPEAT: THAT MEANS WE ARE ONE MONTH AND ONE DAY AWAY FROM THE BULLS SEASON.
Ok, that’s enough yelling for a Sunday morning. I got to save the rest for when the Bears make me angry.
• As the excitement for the regular season brews, the first line of business will be a competitive training camp. The Chicago Bulls handed several non-guaranteed contracts out to flyers like sharpshooter Matt Thomas, forwards Alize Johnson and Stanley Johnson, and Summer League standout Ethan Thompson (among others). While I would guess that Alize and Stanley have the leg up for the final two roster spots, we all know Arturas Karnisovas is an international man of mystery (ya know, like Austin Powers). The front office leader is bound to put plenty of weight on what he sees in the gym and preseason to make a final decision. And I look forward to following that process closely.
• One decision it appears Karnisovas and second-hand man Marc Eversley do not have to ponder is who will eat backup center minutes. Even with the probable addition of Alize, the frontcourt runs rather dry with true size. Behind Nikola Vucevic, the only other man the Bulls added in free agency that stands 6’10” or above is Tony Bradley. Someone who has never appeared in more than 58 games in a single season in his NBA career, it certainly feels like a lot of trust to put into the 23-year-old who has only 112 games under his belt. But I guess you need to take the next step eventually, and Bradley does appear deserving of a bigger role after the way he played last season.
• The big man backed up Joel Embiid more than adequately for 20 games, averaging 5.5 points and 5.7 rebounds with a 68.0 percent field goal percentage. The team went on to trade him to Oklahoma City in exchange for George Hill, and he only made more of his increased playing time with 8.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in 22 games. Overall, Bradley had a +2.3 estimated plus-minus over his 42 games last season, which ranked in the 90th percentile, according to Dunks&Threes. Bradley might not do anything superb, but he runs the floor, rebounds hard, positions himself well on defense, and makes the buckets he needs to around the rim. Someone who has proven to not shoot himself (or the team) in the foot this well is deserving of a bigger role, and the Bulls will need him to thrive in that position considering – again – the lack of depth at the position.
• Mark0 Simonovic might be able to fill a void, and he will surely get an opportunity to prove that in training camp. But I think it would be silly to walk into the season expecting really anything at all from the 21-year-old. He has never stepped foot on an NBA court before, and Summer League showed that he still must add strength to better compete with pro size. Also, while there is an expectation that he can play both frontcourt positions because of his ability to space the floor, we saw very little of this during his summer stint. Maybe as the season drags on we can see him eat more time (after all, the Bulls might need it if an injury arises), but I’m taking the full-blown wait-and-see approach with him.
• This might only be interesting to a nerd like me, but I’ll share it anyway: Hoopshype took a closer look at the best-advanced stats in the NBA.
• AGREED. I’ve been trying to decide which new player’s jersey to cop, but I need the options to actually be available first!
Might want to update what you’re trying to sell me Bulls Store! pic.twitter.com/IzX3odVcly
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) September 18, 2021
• So I guess you could say he was pretty talented?
• How about … all of Justin Fields?
There is an Expectation That We’ll See Even More Justin Fields This Weekhttps://t.co/auaDXdotT4
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) September 19, 2021