Chicago Bulls' Most Intriguing Prospects from NBA Summer League
The Chicago Bulls are two games through the Las Vegas summer league, and they've had several standout players.
Marquis Teague has improved and is showing that he's capable of filling that permanent backup role to Derrick Rose. Malcolm Thomas is doing great work on the glass and could end up taking one of the Bulls' final roster spots.
Rookies Tony Snell and Erik Murphy have had up-and-down outings, but they've shown flashes of what they could bring to the team in the years to come.
The biggest surprise is former Laker Andrew Goudelock. He's shooting lights-out and is leading the summer league in scoring.
These five players have stood out among the rest on the roster. Let's take a look at how each player has performed.
Note: This article was written prior to Tuesday's contest against the Portland Trailblazers.
Summer League Averages: 9.0 PPG, 27.8% FG
The Bulls have made it clear they want to add shooters for this upcoming season. That's why they drafted Snell with the 20th pick this past draft.
Unfortunately, Snell hasn't shown how well he can shoot just yet.
He has, however, shown that he can be used as a slasher, something the Bulls do often with their 2-guards and small forwards. In the Bulls' game against the Denver Nuggets, Snell got to the line nine times, knocking down seven of those attempts.
Last season, the Bulls ranked 19th in free-throw attempts per game. Adding players that can consistently get to the line will help them keep games at their pace while adding easy points.
There's still a lot to be seen from the New Mexico product, but if he can get his shooting going in the next game, he'll show that he can be a versatile asset to the Bulls and not just a spot-up shooter.
Summer League Averages: 12.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 36.4% 3PT
Murphy's first summer league game was about as disappointing as it can get. He missed all of his three-point attempts, racked up 10 fouls and only played 19 minutes.
Monday night against the Nuggets, though, Murphy showed that he can be a very solid stretch-4.
He was running a great pick-and-pop game with Teague, leading to an 18-point night that included 4-of-5 shooting from downtown.
A broken nose could likely be the end of Murphy's summer league, so there may not be time to replicate his performance to ensure some playing time this upcoming season.
Even if he doesn't step on the court next season, if the Bulls keep him around for a couple more years, he could be a good player to spread out defenses and add versatility to the offense.
Summer League Averages: 12.0 PPG, 16.0 RPG, 2.0 BPG
Thomas is making a case for a roster spot on the Bulls after setting a summer league record with 22 rebounds Monday night against Denver.
Tom Thibodeau loves players that work hard on the boards, and with two roster spots still open, the Bulls could give one to Thomas. He's averaging a double-double and doing a good job defending the paint with two blocks in each game.
He also now leads the summer league in rebounds per game. Thomas is most likely on his way to his second consecutive summer league All-Star selection.
Thomas is young and very athletic but might be a bit small to play power forward. If he can learn to play the 3 (he will need to improve his ball-handling), he'd probably have a better shot at staying on the team.
Thomas currently has a non-guaranteed contract with Chicago that will become partially guaranteed this month and fully guaranteed in December.
Summer League Averages: 13.5 PPG, 7.0 APG, 40% FG
Teague is entering his sophomore year and will probably have a bigger role as Rose's backup. His two games in Las Vegas have shown that he's ready to take on that task.
Teague is showing the same speed and quick first step that Bulls fans saw glimpses of last season, but now he's also showing the ability to run an offense. He's making great passes in the half court as well as making some good transition plays, placing him atop the leaderboards in assists per game for the Vegas summer league.
His shooting can be inconsistent, but if he can run the Bulls offense as well as he's running this team, he'll have a great career in Chicago.
Summer League Averages: 28.5 PPG, 72.7% 3PT
If the Bulls choose to only sign one more player, it should be Andrew Goudelock. He currently leads the summer league in scoring and is shooting a ridiculous 73 percent from three-point land.
However, he hasn't just impressed people with his outside shooting. He's done a great job taking people off the dribble.
Goudelock is proving to all 30 NBA teams that he deserves a spot. Seeing how the Bulls are looking to add shooters, there might not be a better option right now than Goudelock.
He is definitely the player to keep an eye on for Tuesday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers. If he can have another big scoring night with top-notch efficiency, there's a good chance that the Bulls will consider him for a possible roster spot.
After winning the D-League MVP award last year, he could be in line to win the summer league's MVP.
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