Central Notes: Beauchamp, Freeman-Liberty, Bulls, Haliburton

After spending much of his rookie season getting used to the NBA, the BucksMarJon Beauchamp appears ready to make a bigger impact, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Beauchamp reported to Summer League noticeably stronger than he was last season, and his teammates have seen a different approach to the game.

“His confidence and feeling comfortable out there, and kind of understanding what he does best and how he can do that and execute that and kind of just like putting his impact on the game, on both ends of the floor, getting to the rim, making plays defensively,” A.J. Green said. “He just looks so much more like ‘I’m here. I belong here’ comfortable out there.”

Beauchamp took a lead role in Milwaukee’s offense during Summer League, scoring 23 and 20 points in the first two games. He plans to spend part of the offseason working out in Greece with Giannis Antetokounmpo and hopes to carry his newfound aggressiveness into the upcoming season.

“Going into camp, I just want to show my ability where I’ve grown and I read the game better,” Beauchamp said. “I’m here to take that leap. I am. It starts Day 1 of training camp so I can’t wait.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Javon Freeman-Liberty was impressive enough during Summer League to warrant an NBA contract, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago states in an overview of the Bulls‘ performance in Las Vegas. Freeman-Liberty averaged 21.2 PPG in five games while shooting 49.3% from the field and 46.2% from beyond the arc. Johnson suggests the Bulls might give him their last open two-way spot if he doesn’t get offered a standard deal by another team.
  • The Bulls‘ front office hasn’t shown an ability to identify talent in recent drafts, contends Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Second-year guard Dalen Terry might be the latest disappointment after a lackluster Summer League showing in which he shot 33.8%. Cowley rates Chicago’s last four drafts, giving the team grades of C, C-minus, D and C-plus.
  • Tyrese Haliburton believes the Pacers are ready to take another step forward after signing Bruce Brown and trading for Obi Toppin, per The Indianapolis Star. “I think we have a lot of guys that fit the right way and fit our style of basketball,” Haliburton said. “Bruce, Obi, on top of the guys that we already have there with the way we played last year, those are two guys who just add to that. That’s going to help us keep playing fast.”
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