Chicago Bulls Rookie Tony Snell Must Make the Most of His Limited Playing Time

By Jon Keller
Tony Snell
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibedou does not love to play rookies, especially during the early parts of the regular season. If Tony Snell wants this to change, he must make the most of his limited playing time early on in the year. The Bulls last two rookies, Jimmy Butler and Marquis Teague each saw about eight minutes per game of playing time during their rookie seasons, however, I believe that Tony Snell has the opportunity to receive more playing time than both Butler and Teague got their rookie years if he can start the season on the right note.

Before being selected 20th overall by Chicago in this years draft, Snell played two seasons for the New Mexico Lobos. Snell made a name for himself this past year at New Mexico with is strong three-point shooting. Snell led the Lobos with 64 three-point field goals this season while maintaining an average of just bellow 40% from behind the arc. Snell made his Chicago Bulls debut this summer in Las Vegas where he was one of the key members of Chicago’s summer league team averaging 11.8 points per game. The highlight of Snell’s summer league came against the Dallas Mavericks when he went off for 20 points including five three-pointers in Chicago’s 94-87 win.

If Snell’s sharp three-point shooting can translate over into the NBA there is a very good chance that he will be called upon this season as a key reserve for the Bulls. As a team Chicago struggled from behind the arc last year. They had only four players with a three-point field goal percentage higher than 35% and two of those players are no longer on the team (Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson). The Bulls understood that they needed to improve from long range and addressed their need by acquiring Snell in the Draft.

Although Chicago has other quality three-point shooters on their bench such as Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich, Snell will also be given the opportunity to get in the game when Chicago is trying to spread the floor with shooters on the outside. If Snell can make the most of his playing time early on in the year by knocking down open three-point field goals he could become an important part of Chicago’s offensive game plan.

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