Usually rookies have a very hard time cracking Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau‘s lineup, but Tony Snell has come along and earned minutes. When the Bulls drafted the 6-foot-7 wingman, they envisioned him sitting on the bench, watching and learning. But just like last season with the injury bug hitting this team, he is playing more minutes and learning that way.
Snell, who was the 20th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, came with the reputation as a very good and pure three-point shooter. He is showing that jumper very early in his career. If you give him some space he will knock it down. He will learn with time how to separate himself with moving without the ball and using the dribble to get space.
The Bulls really are using him for his defense as well. He is tall with very long arms to play on the perimeter. He will have to get much stronger to defend the bigger wing players like a Carmelo Anthony or a Lebron James. But you see the attributes and the ability in Snell to be an effective defender.
Snell is showing signs of being a very good pro and seems to be listening to coach Thibodeau. He has a coach that already believes in him and that can go a long way. He is also learning the game from veterans Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler. These guys are two of the best perimeter defenders in the game and Snell can definitely learn from them.
The Bulls may have found a valuable weapon in the late round of the draft. Snell will be a big part of the Bulls’ roster moving forward, and if Deng leaves as a free agent he could step right in. It will be very hard to replace what Deng brings to the table; at least Snell will be prepared and ready if it comes to that.