2013 Chicago Bulls Summer League Recap: Grading the Performance of the Key Players

(USA Today – Sports)

The Chicago Bulls finished their 2013 Summer League season with a win over the Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls went 4-1 in their five game schedule, only loss being a tough loss against the Miami Heat. Despite not winning the “Summer League Championship,” Chicago played well above expectations.

There are a few guys who may make appearances in the NBA this season. Marquis Teague and Tony Snell already have guaranteed roster spots. Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy both have contracts at the moment, but are still fighting to make the roster. Andrew Goudelock has also come out of nowhere to become a factor.

Marquis Teague
18.3 PPG, 4.8 APG, 75.0% 3P, 7.3 FTA, 3.8 TO

Marquis Teague of course already has a guaranteed roster spot. He was the first round pick of the Bulls in the 2012 Draft, but did not receive much playing time last season in a crowded backcourt. Similar to 2011 draft pick Jimmy Butler, Marquis Teague came up big in the Summer League for Chicago.

Even though the numbers don’t necessarily show it, Teague was a fantastic facilitator, and made a plethora of big time passes. Teague also was outstanding from three-point range on two attempts a game. His form still looks bad, but we’ll see if he has improved his shot as we enter pre-season. Teague is able to get absolutely anywhere he wants on the floor with his elite quickness, but cannot finish once he gets there. If Teague can improve his finishing ability and maintain his jump shot, he could easily steal minutes from Kirk Hinrich this season, and become a mainstay on the Bulls’ roster.

Grade: B+

Andrew Goudelock
19.0 PPG, 47.1% FG, 52.2% 3P

Andrew Goudelock last season was minor role player on the Los Angeles Lakers. In Summer League, Goudelock showed flashes of the superstar he was in college. Goudelock had two games where he struggled, but had three games where he was absolutely unstoppable.

Goudelock was able to score from all over the floor when he was on. AG has a long-range jumper, a solid floater, and an extremely impressive floater to boot. It is unfortunately unlikely that he will have a chance at the roster. The Bulls have a variety of wings under contract, and will likely use their last spot on a big man. Knowing that, Goudelock will probably accept a training camp invite somewhere else where he has a chance to be a contributor.

Grade: A

Tony Snell
11.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 34.8% 3P

Tony Snell was the 20th pick by the Bulls in this year’s draft out of the University of New Mexico. Although heralded as one of the best shooters in the draft, you wouldn’t have been able to tell based on his performance in Summer League. Snell shot merely 34.8% from three-point range on 4.6 attempts per game. Without a monster five three-pointer performance in the last game, Snell would have averaged a paltry 20% from three.

The NBA three point line can be a big adjustment for players as they come out of a college, so he may still turn into an elite shooter in the near future, but Summer League was not a good stage for him.
Despite the subpar shooting numbers, Snell still impressed me with the totality of his game. He is much longer than I thought he was, and played tough defense. He also was a fantastic rebounder for a shooting guard. Overall, Snell seemed like a guy who just doesn’t make many bad decisions, even if he struggled shooting the ball. Tom Thibodeau should learn to love him as his defensive game progresses, which I expect it to do.

Grade: C-


Malcolm Thomas
11.0 PPG, 15.0 RPG, 1.7 BPG

Malcolm Thomas only played in three games, but proved why he was given a spot on the roster last season. In his second game against Denver, Thomas grabbed a Summer League record 22 rebounds. The Denver Nuggets as a team only grabbed 32 total. Thomas does not have a whole lot of refined offensive game, but managed to contribute with hustle plays and by using his athleticism.

The Bulls had Thomas on their roster to end the season, but he did not receive much playing time. His contract for next season is unguaranteed. The Bulls have four power forwards potentially under contract in Boozer, Gibson, Murphy and Thomas. Out of those players, only Taj Gibson can be relied on to play center for any length of time. Because of that, the Bulls may be interested in bringing in a big body to play center for stretches. If the Bulls cannot find a cheap player who can play center, then they could do worse than Malcolm Thomas.

Grade: B+

Erik Murphy
11.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 54.8% FG, 50.0% 3P

Erik Murphy came out in the first Summer League game and looked absolutely awful. He shot three for nine, missed all six of his three pointers despite being billed a long range specialist, committed ten fouls and didn’t have a single rebound. After that performance, I thought there was significant sentiment that he may not make the NBA roster. However it certainly appears as though nerves just got the best of him in that game.

Disregarding the first game, Murphy shot 60.6% from the field, a blistering 71.4% from three on a solid 3.5 attempts per game, and scored in double digits in three out of the remaining four games. Murphy’s jump shot looked infinitely better, as he missed less three-pointers in the last four games (four out of 14 attempts) than he did in game one alone (six out of six attempts.) With his performance, he should receive a place on Chicago’s roster, and may be able to come in and contribute as a stretch big man.

Grade: B+

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