Quote by Nba preview – rookie & sophomore (Central)
Sophomore: Jerian Grant, Bobby Portis, Cristiano Felicio
Rookie: Denzel Valentine, Paul Zipser, Thomas Walkup
Bobby Portis had a good season, as in, he was not a negative, which is more than can be said for most of Chicago’s roster. He played 17.8 minutes in 62 games and averaged 7 points and 5.4 rebounds while trying too hard to show he could be effective. The renewed roster does not grant him any playing time, the only chance he has is improving his outside shot, which he did: he shot 45.5% from three-point range in Summer League. If the game slowed down enough for him and if that shot is legit, he will get his chance.
It’s hard to make a real assessment of Jerian Grant‘s role with the team. He was part of the package that the Knicks sent for Derrick Rose, and the Bulls obviously need a point-guard off the bench behind Rondo, but there are too many players at roster who want to have the ball in their hands. He has the body and the athleticism to be a factor on defense, and that at least should get him some minutes.
Felicio spent the season in the D-League and that’s where he is likely to stay. He is unlikely to be waived because he is the only other center at roster beside Robin Lopez, but he seems to be way behind the rest of the frontcourt, and that’s without considering possible small ball lineups.
Denzel Valentine might have found a team who needs his skills, assuming he can get over his knee issues. He is the only guard who can be a legit three-point threat, and he will benefit from the veterans on the team. He will certainly find a spot in the rotation, considering his skills and much needed shooting, but coach Hoiberg will have to balance it carefully because defense will be an issue.
Zipser signed for 4M in 4 years, but the ex Bayern Munich wing is unlikely to be on the court. The Bulls have two obvious starters and others who will compete for minutes behind them. He should not be underestimated though, he has plenty of top-level international experience in Europe, playing in the Euroleague and with the national team, he can spread the floor, attack close-outs and play defense. Thomas Walkup has a camp deal and will be waived.