Before Thursday’s trade with the Grizzlies, Justin Holiday was a regular starter at small forward for the Bulls, starting every game he played in during the 2018/19 season. But now that he’s gone, the Bulls are asking yet another rookie, 2018 first-round pick Chandler Hutchison, to step up and play a significant role just like they’ve already asked of fellow 2018 draftee, rookie big man Wendell Carter, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.
“Chandler will start at the three (small forward),” head coach Jim Boylen confirmed before last night’s game. “I like his defense, his length and rebounding. He can handle the ball. He can drive the ball. I’m excited to see him play. I want to see him compete. He doesn’t have to do anything great. Just compete. Play within yourself and play like ‘Bulls’ across his chest is important.”
Hutchison, 22, is only averaging 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and has struggled to get going on offense so far this season, generally being brought in for defensive intensity rather than offensive prowess. As such, the loss of Holiday will likely put something of a strain on the Bulls’ already dismal offense.
But, as has been obvious all season, the Bulls are playing for the future of the franchise, not this season’s club. And with Hutchison now in the starting lineup alongside Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and Carter (all 24 years old or younger), the Bulls’ now hope to have their starting lineup of the future in place.
There’s more from the Windy City:
- In a performance that accurately summed up his inconsistent time in Chicago thus far, Bulls’ forward Jabari Parker did a few things well in last night’s loss to the Pacers that were ultimately not enough to make up for his glaring shortcomings, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago.
- In another article for Bulls.com, Smith relays how Bulls’ VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson views the two second-round picks received from the Grizzlies in Thursday’s trade, writing that Paxson called them “crucial” to the team’s development goals. The Bulls now have a second-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after having previously traded their selection away in 2016.
- The Bulls created a modest traded player exception (TPE) worth a little more than $2.7MM, the difference between Holiday’s and MarShon Brooks‘ 2018/19 salaries, when they traded Holiday to the Grizzlies for Brooks and Wayne Selden. Find out how here.