Although Doug McDermott and Tony Snell were both named to the All-Summer League Team last week, Snell’s performance was more impressive and enlightening. Snell averaged 20 points per game over the five games and shot 50 percent from behind the three-point line.
Last season with the Chicago Bulls, Snell had moments when he looked completely lost on the court. After being thrown into the starting lineup early on in 2013 due to injuries to Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, Snell struggled to produce for the Bulls consistently throughout the season.
Now, with a year under his belt and a rumored summer workout routine with his good friend and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, Snell looked like a totally different player in the Bulls’ Summer League games in Las Vegas. He shot the ball well, was aggressive going to the rim, showed off a nice running floater and played well on the defensive end with a number of chase down blocks.
Snell’s improved offensive skill set will earn him more time on the court this season. He already has the length, athleticism and drive to be an effective player defensively, but now with a consistent jumper and confidence going to the basket, Snell could also provide an offensive spark off the bench for the Bulls.
With the improvement shown this summer, Snell should garner a bigger role in the Bulls’ rotation. He will likely still sit behind Butler in the starting lineup but could see action at either wing position. Snell and McDermott will likely split minutes at the three this season and could see action in situational moments late in games.
Bulls fans can only hope his development follows the same sort of trajectory Leonard has had with the San Antonio Spurs over his first three seasons with the team. If Snell can continue to improve at the rate we saw this summer, Chicago may have difficult decision on whether to try and match the inevitable offers next summer for Butler’s services around the league.