Chandler Hutchison

Bulls Notes: Blakeney, Tanking, Dunn, Valentine

Injuries to starting Bulls guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine give their backups a chance to improve their prospects of making the roster next season, Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Shaquille Harrison, Ryan Arcidiacono, Wayne Selden and Antonio Blakeney will get increased playing time.

Arcidiacono started the season slowly but is shooting 52% from the field and 44% from beyond the arc since the All-Star break, Strotman notes. The club can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $1.82MM qualifying offer.

Harrison, whose $1.59MM salary for next season is not guaranteed, is averaging 10.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.0 SPG while starting the last three games.

Blakeney’s $1.59MM contract is guaranteed for next season but that doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to be on the team next season, according to Strotman. He’s shooting just 42% from the field and averaging just 0.6 APG.

The Bulls can make Selden a restricted free agent by extending him a $1.93MM qualifying offer.

We have more on the Bulls:

  • The team appears to be in full tank mode entering the final eight games this season but coach Jim Boylen denies it, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “We’re trying to build a competitive spirit, a team that’s going to honor that Bulls across their chest and play for the city,” Boylen said. “We don’t feel shutting people down is a way to build that.”
  • Dunn is unlikely to play on Tuesday due to a back injury. He tried to tough it out against Utah on Saturday and earned kudos from his coach, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes.  “I want to give Kris credit for playing,” Boylen said. “He had more kinesio tape on him than a mummy. He tried to play and give us what he could. I love the fact that he tried it.”
  • Not only do the Bulls want rookies Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison to play on their summer league team, they’ll also ask Denzel Valentine if he’s interested in participating, Johnson reports in another article. Valentine has not played this season following surgery to reconstruct his left ankle. The Bulls have discussed playing in both the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and the Utah Jazz Summer League in Salt Lake City, Johnson adds.

Bulls Declare Hutchison, Carter Out For The Season

Chandler Hutchison and Wendell Carter Jr., who both had their rookie year cut short by injuries, have officially been ruled out for the rest of the season, the Bulls announced on Twitter.

Executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson relayed the information to reporters before tonight’s game, adding that the same fate may apply to Otto Porter, who is sidelined with a shoulder injury, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. He and Zach LaVine are both being monitored daily, but Paxson speculated that “We may run out of time” with Porter.

Hutchison has been out since late January with an “acute injury” to a sesamoid bone in his right foot. The 22nd player taken in last year’s draft, Hutchison established himself as a part-time starter and averaged 5.2 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 44 games.

“He’s going to have to spend time in the gym shooting the ball this summer to become a better shooter. We know that’s an important component,” Paxson said of Hutchison after complimenting his defense, ballhandling and versatility. Hutchison shot .459 from the field, but just .280 from 3-point range and .605 from the foul line.

Carter hasn’t played since suffering a thumb injury in mid-January that required surgery. He was projected to be out 8 to 12 weeks, so it’s not surprising that he won’t play again this season. The seventh pick last year, Carter also played 44 games, all as a starter, and averaged 10.3 PPG and 7.0 RPG.

Central Notes: Kennard, Porter Jr., Hutchison, Nwaba

Pistons fans may never forgive the previous regime for passing over Donovan Mitchell and taking Luke Kennard in the 2017 draft, but Kennard is doing his best lately to soften the blow. He has scored in double figures 10 of the last 14 games, helping the Pistons go 12-2 during that stretch. Opposing coaches have taken notice.

“Luke Kennard is really growing up right in front of us,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “The pick-and-roll game, shooting the ball. … You know you have respect when teams come out and double-team you. They were blitzing his pick and rolls. It’s a sign of respect around our league. He’s going to learn how to handle those situations and not let that take his confidence out of his shooting.”

Kennard will make $3.8MM next season and it seems like a mere formality the Pistons will pick up his $5.27MM fourth-year option before the October 31 deadline.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Casey feels the Bulls made a wise decision by acquiring small forward Otto Porter from the Wizards. He’s averaging 18.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 3.3 APG in his first 11 games with Chicago. “That was a smart move on Chicago’s part to bring him in and kind of set the tone for that team,” the Pistons’ head coach said. “You always want to have a guy that can shoot the ball and defend with his size.”
  • The Bulls’ prior starter at small forward could be done for the season, according to Sam Smith from the team’s website. Chandler Hutchison had a scan earlier this week on the toe injury to his right foot. The rookie first-rounder out of Boise State will be reevaluated in two weeks and a decision will then be made whether to shut him down. Hutchison, who was injured on January 25th, has not been able to work out because of a foot injury, Smith notes.
  • The Cavaliers should take a hard look at retaining guard David Nwaba, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Nwaba will be a restricted free agent this summer if the Cavs extend a qualifying offer of approximately $1.9MM this summer. Given his injury-riddled season and the fact the team was able to sign him to a minimum contract last summer, it’s hard to envision another team prying him away, Fedor notes. But Nwaba has the second-best plus-minus rating on the team behind only Kevin Love, Fedor adds.

Bulls Notes: Hutchison, Parker, Anthony, Dunn

Serious injuries have now affected nearly every key piece of the Bulls‘ rebuilding effort, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The latest casualty is rookie Chandler Hutchison, who will be sidelined until at least the All-Star break with an “acute injury” to his right foot.

He joins Lauri Markkanen, who missed the first 23 games of the season with a right elbow injury, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis, who both had extended absences with knee issues, Denzel Valentine, who is out for the year after ankle surgery, and Wendell Carter Jr., who may miss the rest of the season after thumb surgery.

The timing of Hutchison’s injury is unfortunate because he had just moved into the starting lineup when the Bulls traded Justin Holiday to Memphis.

“You see the confidence Hutch is playing with and the growth he has had, the confidence Wendell was playing with and the growth he has had,” coach Jim Boylen said. “And you forget about Denzel coming into his third year ready to go, pumped, had a great summer. So it’s gut-wrenching. It’s painful for them individually and painful for the team. It’s tough.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • Boylen has several options at small forward while Hutchison is out, Johnson adds in the same piece. Jabari Parker could be moved back into that spot or the team could try a smaller lineup with Wayne Selden or Shaquille Harrison. Regardless, Parker should see steady playing time after about a month of hardly leaving the bench. “The dude’s special,” Zach LaVine said of Parker. “He’s one of the only dudes on the team who has averaged 20 points per game in the NBA. He’s one of the most talented dudes on the team. I’m happy for him. It’s a tough situation, but he’s handling it well.”
  • Chicago acquired Carmelo Anthony this week, but the move came five years later than the organization would have liked, Johnson notes in a separate story. The Bulls were serious suitors for Anthony when he was a free agent in 2014, and Johnson speculates that he could have been the missing piece to make the Bulls title contenders.
  • Parker and Robin Lopez have dominated the trade deadline speculation in Chicago, but the most important decision may involve Dunn, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. The third-year point guard will become eligible for an extension this summer, and the Bulls have to decide soon whether he will be part of their future. Mayberry notes that the team recently scouted Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who now projects as a top five pick.

Chandler Hutchison Sidelined Until All-Star Break

Bulls rookie Chandler Hutchison won’t play again until after the All-Star break because of an injury to his right foot, the team announced on its website.

Hutchison has been diagnosed with an acute injury to a sesamoid bone that he suffered in Wednesday’s game. He will wear a walking boot for the next two to four weeks, and his condition will be re-evaluated during the break.

The 22nd player taken in this year’s draft, Hutchison has appeared in 44 games, starting 14, and is averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in about 20 minutes per night. His absence may open more playing time for Jabari Parker, whom the Bulls would like to trade before the February 7 deadline.

Bulls Notes: Hutchison, Parker, Grizzlies Trade

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.

Central Notes: Love, Hutchison, Ilyasova, Parker

Trade talks involving Cavaliers forward Kevin Love will heat up in the coming weeks, Marc Stein of the New York Times predicts in his latest newsletter. Love, who signed a four-year, $120MM extension over the summer, becomes trade eligible on January 24th. Love is still sidelined after undergoing toe surgery but could return to action sometime this month. Love is still regarded by some NBA executives as a difference-maker who could be available despite the Cavaliers’ insistence they don’t want to deal him, according to Stein. The Nuggets might be a team to watch, since they have coveted Love for years and may be in a win-now mode, Stein adds.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Bulls first-round pick Chandler Hutchison has embraced the role of defensive stopper, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. Hutchison is averaging a modest 4.2 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 17.2 MPG but he has heeded coach Jim Boylen’s urging to become a defensive presence. “For me right away that was the first thing I noticed was I can help the team,’’ Hutchison told Cowley. “Then one thing leads to the next if you can help the team. Coaches are going to find a way to get you on the floor, which is a reward for me, but also if I can help the team in areas that we need help, it’s going to help us win.’’
  • Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer plans to keep power forward Ersan Ilyasova in the rotation when he returns from a fractured nose that required surgery, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Ilyasova, who suffered the injury during a December 16th practice, could return to action this weekend. Second-year man D.J. Wilson has played well in his absence. “Ersan’s somebody that we think we’ll find minutes for and then (with) those young guys, keep trying to figure out how we can keep them involved and growing and developing, but I guess for me it’s a couple days away,” Budenholzer said.
  • The Bulls have tried to package forward Jabari Parker with the expiring contracts of either swingman Justin Holiday or center Robin Lopez in preliminary trade talks, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports. Parker, who has been benched by Boylen, has a $20MM team option on his contract for next season. Holiday is making approximately $4.4MM, while Lopez is pulling in $14.35MM this season.

Bulls Sign Carter, Hutchison To Rookie Deals

The Bulls have made it official with their two first-round picks, announcing today in a press release that Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison have both signed their rookie contracts.

Carter, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft, was somewhat overshadowed in his freshman year at Duke by teammate Marvin Bagley III, but had a strong season for the Blue Devils, averaging 13.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 2.1 BPG. He projects as the Bulls’ long-term starting center alongside power forward Lauri Markkanen in the frontcourt.

As for Hutchison, the 6’7″ swingman played his college ball at Boise State, and is coming off a 2017/18 season in which he averaged an impressive 20.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 3.5 APG with a .475/.359/.728 shooting line. The No. 22 pick will look to earn minutes in Chicago’s wing rotation in his rookie year.

Carter’s new four-year deal will be worth approximately $22MM, while Hutchison will be in line for a four-year total of about $10.79MM. The terms of both deals are dictated by the NBA’s rookie scale. Each contract will also have two guaranteed seasons, with team options in years three and four.

Bulls Rumors: LaVine, Draft Trade Talks, Hutchison

When the Bulls acquired Zach LaVine a year ago in a draft-night blockbuster with Minnesota, the team made it clear that it viewed the young guard as a long-term building block. The Bulls maintained that stance even after failing to agree to terms on a rookie scale extension with LaVine during the 2017 offseason, conveying that they fully intended to lock up LaVine in restricted free agency.

Now, with LaVine’s restricted free agency right around the corner, his return to the Bulls may not be the absolute lock it once was. According to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the “near universal support” LaVine once had internally in the organization isn’t there anymore.

A long-term deal for LaVine in Chicago remains a real possibility, but the Bulls plan to wait to see if he receives a big-money offer from another team, per Friedell. If the 23-year-old signs an offer sheet with a rival suitor, the Bulls could then decide if they want to match it.

LaVine’s ability to contribute in his first season with the Bulls was limited by his recovery from an ACL tear. The club should be able to reasonably expect more going forward from the former lottery pick than the modest production it got in his first 24 games in Chicago (16.7 PPG, .383/.341/.813 shooting).

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • The Bulls liked several big men at the top of the draft, including Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Mohamed Bamba. However, the price to move up was too high for the team, sources tell Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago. According to Goodwill, Chicago likely would have had to surrender the No. 22 pick and a future first-rounder to trade up from No. 7.
  • Executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson explained that it didn’t make sense for the Bulls to give up so many pieces at this point in their rebuild, Goodwill relays. “We feel we’re in a situation at this time of our rebuild that to give up assets, important draft assets to move up a spot or two, that didn’t make sense to us and the way we’re planning,” Paxson said. “We continue to talk about being patient and disciplined in how we make decisions.”
  • General manager Gar Forman on the team’s trade options and eventual No. 7 pick: “We’re always looking and probing for opportunity. How close we got, we don’t know. We looked into some things. We thought it was more than a six-player draft. And Wendell [Carter Jr.] is a guy we’ve been high on for quite awhile.”
  • The Bulls reportedly made a promise to No. 22 pick Chandler Hutchison very early in the pre-draft process. While Paxson and Forman declined to comment on that alleged promise, Paxson said the club likes the Boise State forward “a lot,” per Goodwill. “We scouted him early, scouted him often. He knew we liked him,” Paxson said. “He addresses a position of need. We had debates on wings and players at his position. His ability to rebound and take it off the board, those things are really valuable, especially the way we want to play.”

Teams Lining Up For No. 3 Pick If Kings Pass On Doncic

The Mavericks, Magic, Bulls, Knicks, and Clippers have expressed interest in moving into the Hawks’ No. 3 slot to select either EuroLeague guard Luka Doncic or possibly Texas center Mohamed Bamba if the Kings pass on Doncic at No. 2, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Those teams, along with the Nuggets, have also talked to the Grizzlies at the No. 4 spot. The Celtics don’t appear to be a serious contender for either pick, O’Connor adds.

Here’s some other tidbits from O’Connor’s story:

  • The Hornets’ willingness to deal Kemba Walker has waned since they reached an agreement with the Nets to trade Dwight Howard for Timofey Mozgov. The Cavaliers have shown interest in solving their point guard dilemma by acquiring Walker.
  • The Clippers could select Miami (Fla.) guard Lonnie Walker with one of their first-rounders and then ship him to the Hawks. The Clippers have the No. 12 and No. 13 picks in the lottery.
  • The Bucks are trying to package the No. 17 pick with point guard Matthew Dellavedova‘s contract. Dellavedova has two years and $19.2MM remaining on his deal. Milwaukee would trade down in the draft in that scenario and not exit altogether.
  • The Timberwolves have a strong interest in Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo with the No. 20 pick.
  • There are rumblings that the Bulls made a promise to draft Boise State shooting guard Chandler Hutchison. That would have to be at No. 22 unless they make a deal.
  • The Trail Blazers and Lakers are interested in IMG Academy shooting guard Anfernee Simons with their late first-round picks.
  • Kentucky small forward Jarred Vanderbilt, Latvian forward Rodions Kurucs, and Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham are believed to have received draft promises.