The Chicago Bulls’ Tony Snell has put himself in a position to succeed in the 2014-15 season. Snell will return for his sophomore season with a new-found confidence, an improved jumper, added 10 pounds of muscle and most noticeably, a new haircut.
In his rookie season, Snell averaged 4.5 points and 1.6 rebounds in limited minutes while shooting 38 percent from the field and 32 percent from three. It was a very inconsistent season for Snell, but he appears ready for a breakout season.
Snell was extremely impressive in NBA Summer League, earning first-team honors while averaging 20 points on 46 percent shooting and 50 percent from beyond the arc. He also averaged four rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Jimmy Butler remains the starting shooting guard, but if Snell impresses, he could find himself playing meaningful minutes behind Butler and Mike Dunleavy at small forward. At 6-foot-7, with a 7-foot wingspan, Snell can be valuable defensively as well.
Snell came out of New Mexico labeled as a shooter and with Derrick Rose returning, Snell is bound to see many open looks on the perimeter as well as open driving lanes to the basket. That, combined with the passing abilities of Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol should significantly help Snell find his place in the offense.
The Bulls will have one of the deepest rotations they’ve had in years, and Snell will have to earn that right to crack the rotation. But if he continues where he left off in Summer League, there is no reason he won’t be able to help contribute this season.