The Las Vegas Summer League is underway and the Bulls already have two games in the books. So far, there have been a few intriguing storylines to watch. These young players could prove themselves and become very important parts of the Bulls rotation this year. A couple of the main headlines include:
Patrick Williams is the Bulls X-Factor
Williams was seen as a very questionable pick when taken fourth overall in last year’s draft. He was able to silence those doubters by teasing some very intriguing potential during his rookie season. He showed that he has the lateral quickness and defensive abilities to take on opposing team’s best player night in and night out. While his defense is his calling card, he showed some flashes of three point shooting and self-creation on offense.
These flashes will need to become more than that if the Bulls are going to be considered real contenders. In a likely starting lineup, he will be starting alongside Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, Demar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. Those four are established in the league and it is generally understood what they are going to provide for the team. Williams is still a teenager. The sky is the limit for him, but if the Bulls want to be taken seriously, he will have to be take a serious leap in year two.
Through two summer league games, signs are pointing towards this being a possibility. Obviously it is summer league so there cannot be too much to read into, but the production from Williams cannot be ignored. Williams has taken on he role of go-to scorer for this summer league roster. He scored twenty points in the first game and thirty in the second. The second game showed much improvement.
Williams was 4-7 from three, was hitting runners and floaters, and just scoring every way imaginable. His jump shot is still pretty slow, but he is showing that he can still get it off with defenders’ hands in his face. He looks a lot more fluid with the ball which is very encouraging for this upcoming season.
Can Marko Simonovic Crack the Rotation?
Simonovic was the Bulls second round pick last year. He decided to stay in Europe and play in the Adriatic League before making his jump to the NBA. Simonovic has been heralded for his great mobility for a big man and
encouraging shooting potential. There is great hope within this organization that they got a steal in the second round and he can become a very good NBA player.
Simonovic has delivered on some of those flashes. He has shown that he is great when running the floor and filling the lanes. He also has shown some strong defensive rebounding. When scouted he did not seem to be the greatest rebounder, so these early returns are very encouraging. He also was not shying away from contact at all. That is exactly what the team should want to see from him.
If he keeps up this level of play, Simonovic could make the Bulls’ rotation as soon as this year.
Who Wins the Third Point Guard Role?
With Ryan Arcidiacono now out of the picture, the key to the third point guard will likely be turned over to one of the young guys. While the team can still go out and sign a veteran point guard, it looks like either Ayo Dosunmu or Devon Dotson will be handed this role. Both players were dominant college point guards who fell in the draft due to limited potential. While neither will ever be a superstar, they can both be very important contributors to any team.
Dosunmu, a second round pick this year, and Dotson, an undrafted player last year, are playing alongside each other in the backcourt now during summer league, but will likely be fighting each other for minutes this upcoming season. So far this summer league, Dotson has shown more to secure this role. While Dotson may look more poised to secure the job, Dosunmu has the overall higher potential due to his size and all-around skill set. There is no clear front runner for the job after two summer league games. Whoever takes on this role probably will not emerge for a long time.
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