By Andrew Pappas @AndrewPappas24 on July 13, 2014
On the same weekend that saw additions to the Tom Thibodeau's Bulls roster such as Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, the team started its Summer League season. After starting 2-0 with wins over the Clippers and Nuggets, there are definitely some players to keep an eye on. Here are the top five players of the 2014 Bulls Summer League team so far.
Bairstow was the Bulls second round pick this year and has provided exactly what the Bulls expected, grit and intensity. He has scored a measly 14 points in the first two Summer League games, but he goes hard each and every play, a trait that we know will play well with Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. He has shown a decent skill set offensively, knocking down a few mid-range jumpers, but his tenacity is what will keep him on the roster.
Freeman, who went undrafted in 2011 after four years at Georgetown has shown some signs of potential in the first two Summer League games. In Saturday night's victory over Denver, Freeman went 4-6 from beyond the arc en rout to a solid 14 point night. He may not make the Bulls roster, but plenty of teams need shooting, so I anticipate seeing Freeman on a roster somewhere come October.
The relatively unknown guard out of UCLA played his high school ball at Chicago's own Simeon, the same high school that Bulls guard Derrick Rose starred at. He has shown flashes of NBA potential throughout the first two games. His basketball IQ seems to be quite high. Jones is another guy who brings the grit and tenacity that Tom Thibodeau loves to have and he could be fighting for that third point guard spot on the roster.
As the Bulls prized rookie, McDermott struggled in his first taste of NBA hoops. He shot 2-8 in the opener, scoring just 10 points. But "Dougie McBuckets" lived up to his nickname on Saturday night when he scored 31, including five from beyond the arc, and an impressive 12-12 from the charity stripe. If he continues to adjust to the NBA game, McDermott could be the wing scorer that Bulls fans have been clamoring for the past few seasons.
The most impressive player, by far, on the Bulls Summer League team has been second-year player Tony Snell. He has put on ten pounds and looks primed to take on a bigger role this upcoming season. Snell put up 50 points in the first two games, making five three's in each. He and McDermott dominated Saturday's match-up with the Nuggets, and when speaking after the game, the soft-spoken Snell simply said "it's gonna be a special year for us."
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