Bulls head coach Billy Donovan says he’s still tinkering with different lineup combinations and hasn’t decided which player will start at power forward, per Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.
“Certainly, the rest of this week and going into next week, we’ll do that,” Donovan said when he was asked about experimenting with different looks and combinations.
Cowley writes that the Bulls are trying to determine whether Patrick Williams‘ development would be aided more by starting or coming off the bench. Javonte Green is his primary competition for the starting job.
Donovan has said “several times” during training camp that the power forward spot could fluctuate during the season, and it’s not clear if he’s prioritizing performance or matchups, according to Cowley.
2022/23 will be an important season for both players. Williams will be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer after the Bulls exercised his fourth-year option, while Green will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Here’s more from the Central Division:
- The Cavaliers rested several key players in Friday’s 114-108 loss to Orlando, but Evan Mobley looked good, and more importantly healthy, in his preseason debut after dealing with a sprained right ankle, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Last season’s Rookie of the Year runner-up will be a huge piece of the puzzle for the Cavs if they hope to return to the postseason for the first time since 2018.
- Both Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert made a strong case for the Cavaliers‘ starting small forward job in the loss to the Magic, Fedor adds in the same piece. Okoro finished with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and added three rebounds, while LeVert had 15 points (on 5-of-12 shooting), four rebounds, three assists and four steals.
- The Cavaliers preferred to keep their 15th standard roster spot open to maintain flexibility, but Fedor wonders (via Twitter) if Mamadi Diakite might be forcing their hand after a strong preseason performance. According to Fedor, Diakite has intrigued with his mix of activity, energy and productivity. He’s on a non-guaranteed Exhibit 9 deal after playing for the Bucks and Thunder the past two seasons.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic previews the Pacers, projecting them to finish with a 27-55 record, 14th in the Eastern Conference. Though he expects them to be bad, Hollinger thinks the Pacers will be entertaining to watch and notes that they have a lot of interesting decisions to make, including potentially dealing away veterans and exploring ways to utilize their $29MM in cap space.
3 thoughts on “Central Notes: Bulls, Mobley, Cavs, Diakite, Pacers”
I’ve been a fan of Diakite for a couple of years, and though he can give them wing help that Agbaji could when not primarily at the 4, he can help them as a different look at that 4 position, and also as a small ball 5, though they do have a lot of frontcourt guys right now. There are a lot players at his position currently available, so I do wonder where he might end up, if he diesnt get a spot, which admittedly, I didnt think he would when he signed with them b/c of all their depth there
Diakite looked like he fit in during the exhibitions and teammates seemed to be cheering for him personally. I think the Cavs keep him in their system somehow, if only for insurance
Bulls will do what’s best for Pat long term. Whatever gets the most out of him is where he’ll be used. If that’s on the bench, great. If that’s starting, great.