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Amongst the injuries, poor defense, a waste of $20 million and the 3-8 start, there’s only been a couple of bright spots for the Bulls this young season. One being Zach Lavine’s All-Star start to the season, and the other being the play of Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. The first few games of the season Carter really didn’t look for his shot much and mainly focused on defense. As he’s become more comfortable with the flow and pace of NBA, his offense has begun to catch fire. He’s posted a double-double in each of the Bulls last two games.

His defense has been incredible, the way he has flown in on possessions to save the Bulls defense with fantastic blocks, have been superhero like and certainly live up to the Block Panther nickname, that has been floating around Bulls Nation. NBC Chicago sports analyst Kendall Gill has already proclaimed Carter the Bulls best defensive player, and I would have to agree. Yes even better than Kris Dunn. Carter has shown the footwork and the defensive presence needed to be able to stick with quicker guards, that he gets switched on to.

His play even earned him a shoutout on Instagram from Chris Paul, after the Bulls played the Houston Rockets. Carter’s defense has been great, and his offense hasn’t been so shabby either. Wendell is the type of modern-day center that’s needed in today’s NBA. He’s displayed a nice touch around the rim, as well as his ability to stretch the floor and knock down the triple. He’s also has showcased his passing skills (he’s an underrated passer).

He’s quickly becoming a threat of a nightly double-double. It’s no doubt in my mind that Carter had a legitimate chance at winning the Rookie of the Year, as long as he keeps making an impact on both ends of the floor. I would love to see Carter and Lavine work on their two-man game, and give Hoiberg a viable pick and roll option to run, which should prove pretty nightmarish for opposing defenses. Also wait till Lauri Markkanen returns, and shares the frontcourt with Carter. Their games should really compliment each other, and the Bulls offense is going to be fun to watch.

Right now Carter gets called for fouls frequently, even fouling out of the Bulls recent double OT win against the New York Knicks. The fouls aren’t any cause of concern, most of them are called because as a 19-year-old rookie, Carter has yet to earned the respect of the refs and his frame is too small for some of the more experienced players. Oh yeah, that’s the crazy part about Carter Jr. he’s only 19 years of age!

As he gets more experience and gets stronger, with his athletic ability and skill set, he will become a force to be reckoned with. Do you think Carter has a shot at ROY? Do you agree that he’s already the Bulls best defensive player?


Photos: @chicagobulls | @cp3
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