So far this season Gafford has seen the court for extremely limited minutes. He is averaging only 7.8 minutes played per game. But, due to a Luke Kornet injury, Gafford finally got his chance to play.
Scoring 21 points and going 10-12 from the field Gafford spent most of his time flying through the air for dunks. To top it off he also had some huge blocks.
Daniel Gafford was eye to eye with the rim on this one. pic.twitter.com/cIpuadVX1E
— DeAntae Prince (@DeAntae) November 19, 2019
Gafford played fearlessly this game. He showed everyone, especially Bulls coach Jim Boylen, that he is able to play with the best.
Gafford began his NBA career in the Summer League where he averaged 13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds. He also shot 68.3% from the field in 24.9 minutes a game. In the pre-season though, his numbers and minutes dropped significantly. In the 5 games he played he only averaged 6.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 55% shooting.
Still, though, Gafford seemed like and still is a promising prospect.
So, could Daniel Gafford develop into an All-Star caliber player? Why not?
Gafford is a true Center, something the Bulls are in search of. Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen are able to play the position, but having a dedicated Center is something that would greatly benefit this team. That means though, he is going to have to develop.
Right now this should be one of the top priorities moving forward for the team. Now that everyone h
as seen the way Gafford can play, not to mention against one of the league’s best teams, developing his skill set could do wonders for his game and career.
The breakout game showed a lot of Gafford’s play style. The best way to break it down, for Bulls fans at least, would be thinking of it like Joakim Noah’s energy mixed with Taj Gibson’s athleticism. That is an exciting thought.
If the team is able to really hone in and play to Gafford’s strengths his time with the Bulls could be incredible. He has mobility and length which are incredibly important, not to mention assisting in spacing the floor. Going into the draft some of the knocks against him were his physicality and decision making. These are two things that can be coached up.
Speaking of coaching, that should be the biggest worry. Gafford has made the case that he should be in the rotation consistently with considerable minutes. At this point, he should not start, but he should not be playing under 10 minutes a game or sent to the G-League. He doesn’t need to develop, Gafford is already an NBA caliber player. It’s up to the coaching staff to help Gafford jumpstart his career and he has proven he has what it takes.
If Gafford develops well and continues to put in the work he could become a key part of this Bulls team.
Daniel Gafford showed he has what it takes and it’s easy to see the potential that he has. Now it’s up to the staff and coaches to help his development and help him reach that All-Star potential.