Summer League action, of course, is nowhere near as exciting as the regular season and NBA playoffs. Fans won’t get to see All-Stars like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah take the court, but they will get to witness a slew of talented youngsters who are trying to earn a spot in the Association.
Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler impressed everyone last July, averaging nearly 21 points per contest and being named a Summer League All-Star. The guy Bulls announcer Stacey King refers to as “Jimmy Buckets” won’t take part in this year’s event, though.
Who will suit up for Chicago’s 2013 squad?
According to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago, the Bulls’ roster includes Marquis Teague, Tony Snell, Erik Murphy, Malcolm Thomas, Luke Harangody, Andy Rautins, Ryan Allen (brother of Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen) and Charles Boozer (brother of Bulls forward Carlos Boozer).
After helping Kentucky win a national title as a freshman, Teague was selected by the Bulls with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Teague would rarely see the court during his first season in Chicago, appearing in just 48 games and logging 8.2 minutes per contest. As every Bulls fan knows, Coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t love to play rookies.
Teague averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 assists while shooting 38 percent from the field last season.
This will be Teague’s second consecutive Summer League appearance. The Indianapolis native struggled mightily in last year’s event. Although he averaged a decent 10.6 points and three assists, he only shot 29.4 percent from the field and averaged 3.8 turnovers a game.
Look for him to have a much better Summer League this year, dazzling the Vegas crowd every contest.
The Bulls threw a curveball by selecting Snell 20th overall in this year’s draft. Most fans and experts believed the team would take a big man instead like Gorgui Dieng or Mason Plumlee.
While Snell isn’t the backup center Bulls fans were looking for, the 6’7” swingman is a terrific shooter, something the team desperately needed last season. The New Mexico product shot 39 percent from downtown this past year.
It will be interesting to see how Snell performs in his first Summer League. Expect lights-out shooting from the Bulls rookie.
If you’re not a college hoops fan, you may not know much about Harangody. The former Notre Dame superstar was named Big East Player of the Year in 2008 and served as a 20-point, 10-rebound threat for the majority of his career.
Unfortunately, Harangody’s NBA career hasn’t been so fantastic. He has averaged just 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 70 games. He didn’t play in the league this past season.
Maybe his performance in this year’s Summer League will earn him a camp invite.
Players Who Have a Legit Shot at Making the Real Roster
First-round picks Teague and Snell are guaranteed to be with the Bulls next season. But don’t expect guys like Harangody, Rautins, Allen and Boozer to make the real roster.
Murphy has a realistic shot, though. The 6’10” power forward was drafted by the Bulls 49th overall this year. Not the world’s most athletic big man, Murphy is simply money from beyond the arc. He hit an amazing 45 percent of his three-point attempts as a senior at Florida.
The Bulls were one of the worst shooting teams in the league last season, and that’s why Murphy has a good chance to make the team.
Thomas appeared in seven games for the Bulls last season, averaging 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 5.1 minutes per contest.
Will he suit up for the Bulls in 2013-14 as well? It’s definitely possible.
Thomas played for the Bulls’ Summer League squad last year. The undrafted forward looked like a top-five pick, putting up 11.4 points and a league-leading 12.4 boards per game. He also produced 1.4 blocks and shot 53.5 percent from the field.
His crazy athleticism and high motor could certainly earn him a spot on the Bulls’ real roster next season.
Key Position Battle
Erik Murphy vs. Malcolm Thomas
More than likely, either Murphy or Thomas will make the Bulls’ roster. But which big man will come out on top?
Chicago needs a third power forward to play behind starter Carlos Boozer and primary backup Taj Gibson.
Murphy can serve as a “stretch 4,” while Thomas provides the team with quality rebounding.
If the Bulls were to choose between Murphy and Thomas, chances are Murphy would be the guy who sticks around.