Chandler Hutchison

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.

Draft Updates: Green Room, Sexton, Gilgeous-Alexander, Shamet

The names of several green room invitees for Thursday night’s draft have been leaked, relays Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Only college players will be in the room this year, as Luka Doncic is still involved with his season for Real Madrid.

The projected top picks will be well represented with Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, Duke’s Marvin Bagley III, Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr., Texas’ Mo Bamba, Alabama’s Collin Sexton, Oklahoma’s Trae Young, Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr., Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr., Villanova’s Mikal Bridges, Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Michigan State’s Miles Bridges all on hand.

Joining them will be Kentucky’s Kevin Knox, Texas A&M’s Robert Williams, Miami’s Lonnie Walker, Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo, Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, Boston College’s Jerome Robinson, Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison and UCLA’s Aaron Holiday.

There’s more pre-draft news to pass along:

  • Sexton doesn’t have any more workouts on his schedule after completing today’s session with the Magic, tweets Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Sexton has been limiting his workouts to teams in his projected range, as the only others were for the Cavaliers (No. 8 pick), Knicks (No. 9) and Hornets (No. 11).
  • Gilgeous-Alexander is a rare mid-level prospect who hasn’t conducted a single publicized workout, notes Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype. Although a team or two may have brought him in for a secret session, there are also organizations that tried to work him out but were denied. Kalbrosky speculates Gilgeous-Alexander’s representatives may be trying to steer him to a large-market team like the Clippers, who hold the 12th and 13th picks.
  • The Sixers will work out Wichita State’s Landry Shamet on Tuesday, Kalbroksy tweets, adding that Philadelphia may consider him at No. 26.
  • The Suns held a workout today with Texas Tech’s Smith as the biggest name in the group. Also participating, according to a tweet from the team, were Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie, Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson, Wake Forest’s Bryant Crawford, Oregon State’s Drew Eubanks and Bosnia’s Markus Loncar. This is the Suns’ final scheduled session before the draft, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic.

Central Notes: Pacers, Budenholzer, Bulls, Tate

The Pacers will host their first pre-draft workout tomorrow morning and it too will consist of six participants, per an official release from the team. The highest rated players are UNLV big man Brandon McCoy and Wichita State guard Landry Shamet.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Shamet coming off the board at No. 50 in the second round to the Pacers, so it makes sense that he’d be one of the first prospects they brought in. The Pacers also have the No. 23 overall selection. Meanwhile, McCoy is rated as the No. 70 overall prospect by Givony.

In addition to Shamet and McCoy, the Pacers will also host Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Nick King (Middle Tennessee State), and Yante Maten (Georgia).

There is more tonight from the Central Division:

Combine Notes: Porter, Bamba, Young, Hutchison

The Clippers have their eyes on Michael Porter Jr. and are hoping to use their picks at No. 12 and 13 to trade up in the draft, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. The Missouri forward, who missed almost the entire season with a back injury, could give L.A. a reliable scorer in the frontcourt. O’Connor notes that team owner Steve Ballmer stopped his session with the media at the combine to listen to Porter’s interview.

Porter, who is projected at No. 8 to the Cavaliers in the latest mock draft by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, told reporters he had combine interviews scheduled with 13 teams, including the Clippers. He also stated that he believes he’s “the best player in the draft.”

L.A.’s challenge is finding a team willing to trade down. O’Connor cites the Grizzlies, Mavericks, Magic and Bulls — who hold picks four through seven — as teams in need of multiple assets. However, it’s not clear if any of them is willing to move back in the draft, and O’Connor has heard that Memphis is planning to keep its No. 4 pick. The Grizzlies are looking for size, O’Connor adds, but are the only team in the top eight not to ask for a meeting with Texas center Mo Bamba.
O’Connor’s recap on the combine is filled with interesting tidbits. Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Bamba believes he could form a dangerous combination with Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr., but Dallas may not be interested. With Dirk Nowitzki returning for another season, the Mavs will try to rebuild quickly to put a contending team around him. That means targeting a free agent big man such as DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins or Julius Randle, which would make a scorer like Porter more attractive in the draft. O’Connor notes that Cousins’ agent, Jarinn Akana, has strong ties to the Mavericks. Of his 12 clients, five have played in Dallas and another was with its G League affiliate, Jaleel Cousins, who is DeMarcus’ brother.
  • The Knicks are interested in Oklahoma point guard Trae Young if he falls to the ninth pick. They see him as a good fit alongside last year’s first-rounder, Frank Ntilikina, who can take on the tougher defensive matchup and help space the floor for Young to drive to the basket. However, the Magic at No. 6 and the Cavaliers at No. 8 both need point guards, so Young could be off the board before New York’s selection.
  • It still isn’t clear who made a draft promise to Boise State forward Chandler Hutchison, but O’Connor was told he won’t drop into the late first round. Hutchison, who is expected to be taken between the 18th and 24th pick, held workouts for the Timberwolves and Bulls before withdrawing from the combine. It may or may not be a clue, but Hutchison’s agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, is a friend of Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and has represented many Chicago players.
  • Kostas Antetokounmpo showed a lot of similarities to his older brother Giannis Antetokounmpo in his combine workouts. Kostas, 2o, could be a second-round pick and may be a valuable asset for a team to have when Giannis hits free agency in 2021.

Trail Blazers Notes: Combine, Trent, Hutchison, Walker

The Trail Blazers took an unorthodox approach to the NBA Draft Combine by giving a prominent role to their sports psychologist, writes Jason Quick of NBA Sports Northwest. Dana Sinclair has been working with the team for the past seven years and her role has evolved to coordinating pre-draft intelligence.

Players who met with Sinclair received a checklist with character traits and were asked to pick the ones that described them. Once they completed the list, they were given several follow-up questions.

“It was questions like, ‘What would people describe you as?’’’ said Louisville recruit Brian Bowen, who sat out the season. “And ‘What would you describe yourself as?’ It was interesting. It was her getting to know me personally. I liked it.’’

There’s more to pass on from Portland:

  • Among the players the team interviewed at the combine was Duke’s Gary Trent Jr., Quick adds in the same story. Trent, who averaged 14.5 points and 4.2 rebounds as a freshman with the Blue Devils, would be a second-generation Blazer if he gets drafted by Portland. His  father spent three full seasons with the organization at the start of his career. “He always he told me stories of those teams, and the name they had, the Jail Blazers,’’ Trent said. “But he told me funny stories, stories of him, JR [Rider], Rasheed [Wallace].’’
  • Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison was a late withdrawal from the combine, sparking rumors that he had a promise from a team with a pick in the 20s, but that promise didn’t come from Portland, Quick tweets. Hutchison would be a nice fit with the Blazers, who need to add wing depth, writes Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype.
  • Shooting guard Lonnie Walker of Miami was among the players who interviewed with Sinclair, but he isn’t planning a workout in Portland, according to Quick (Twitter link). The Trail Blazers hold the 24th pick, and Walker’s agent, Happy Walters, said that falls below the range where he expects Walker to be chosen. Walker was extremely impressive at the combine media session and reminded many observers of Donovan Mitchell‘s performance last year (Twitter link).
  • Oregon’s Troy Brown expects to work out for the Blazers in the coming weeks, Quick adds (Twitter link).

Chandler Hutchison, Mitchell Robinson Made Promises?

As we relayed on Wednesday, two notable NBA prospects, Chandler Hutchison  and Mitchell Robinson, withdrew from this week’s 2018 NBA Draft Combine in advance of the event. We also heard on Thursday that Hutchison was reported to have found a “safe landing spot” in the late first round.

Now, according to a tweet from NBADraft.net and a story from Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, it appears that promises may have been made to both players by teams picking in the 20’s of the upcoming draft. Hutchison is rumored to have received a promise by the Bulls at pick No. 22 while Robinson’s promise is purported to have come by the Lakers at pick No. 25.

It remains fairly early in the draft process for teams to be making promises to prospects, but the report at least provides a bit of context as to why Hutchison and Robinson may have withdrawn from the combine.