The Chicago Bulls played it safe in taking Wendell Carter and Chandler Hutchison, and hit a home run in the process.
The Bulls have been criticized for “playing it safe” in the draft for numerous years. It’s why many fans had found it hard to listen to any swirling rumors surrounding this team leading up to the draft. Trading future assets and or taking on bad contracts is not part of the status quo of management. So many would say that trend continued with the selections of Wendell Carter and Chandler Hutchison.
After all, Carter’s game isn’t devoid of question marks. During his one season at Duke, he wasn’t even the best big man on the team. Carter took a back seat to Marvin Bagley, averaging 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds. He did, however, shoot an impressive 56.1 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from 3-point range. Carter also blocked more shots per possession than Mo Bamba, and the team thrived defensively when Bagley was off the court.
But Carter doesn’t see the negatives that come with being characterized as a “safe pick”.
“It just shows that all the work, all the dedication to play in this game, it paid off,’’ Carter said. “To say I’m the safest pick, it shows I’m going to do whatever it takes to come in and win. The Bulls recognized that, so I’m excited.’’
And Bulls fans should be excited too. This organization finally has a clear direction in what it plans to do moving forward. They plan on shifting more of the offense in Markkanen’s direction and Carter’s rebounding, strength, and versatility will help that process.
Hutchison will provide the much needed help the Bulls have sought since making the Jimmy Butler trade.
Hutchison shouldn’t be looked at as an afterthought just because he was picked 22nd.
With a ten-minute bump in playing time between sophomore and junior year Hutchison improved greatly.
His points per game averages increased from 6.8 (2015-2016) to 17.4 (2016-2017) to 20.0 (2017-2018). His field goal percentage remained above 47% despite attempting eight more shots per contest, and his three-point conversion hovered around 36%.
He averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists at Boise State. He finished his senior year averaging 47.5 percent from the field.
Hutchison has proved adept at making plays for his teammates. His 7’1 wingspan will also allow him to guard multiple positions. He’ll be that 2 way player that the Bulls have sought after for some time.
The Bulls definitely found two players that fit their program and what they’re trying to accomplish in becoming a complete team. And they did it in the safest way possible.
photos by Kostas and nba.com