The Chicago Bulls went into the 2013 NBA Draft with everyone expecting them to select a wing player to help add depth in that area. When their 20th overall pick came around, many people expected them to go with Tim Hardaway Jr. or Reggie Bullock, both of whom were left on the board. However, the Bulls elected to go with Tony Snell.
Coming out of New Mexico, Snell certainly doesn’t have the same profile as Hardaway Jr. or Bullock, but he was still an effective college player. Last season for the Lobos, Snell averaged 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 42.2 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three.
Snell brings a lot to the table, specifically that he has the chance to be an effective three-and-D guy in the Bulls system eventually. However, at the Las Vegas Summer League, he looked like he still needed to develop a bit more before he was at the level the Bulls want him to be at.
In five games at Summer League, Snell averaged 11.8 points, 6.6 board, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game, which were relatively solid numbers across the board. However, Snell shot only 36.7 percent from the floor and 34.8 percent from three. He often seemed to be pressing and forcing the issue, which is somewhat a product of Summer League, but also a sign that he needs to grow a bit more as a player.
Luckily for Chicago and Snell, he will have the opportunity to be eased into NBA action this season in the Bulls rotation. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is infamous for playing his key players an enormous amount of minutes, especially Luol Deng who Snell will be playing behind a large amount of the time.
Because of the way Thibodeau organizes his rotation, Snell won’t be thrown into the fire immediately in Chicago. He will have to opportunity to play limited minutes and adjust to the pro game as he plays behind Deng. For a player with Snell’s potential and a player in the place that Snell is as a player, the Bulls really present an ideal situation.