It's only been two preseason games, but we haven't seen Joe Smith yet as a Bull. He's barely practiced, for that matter.
And while he acknowledges there's no need to rush players back before the season starts, nobody hates missing practice more than Skiles:
I don't see it as much of Skiles holding ill will towards the injured, it's just that he doesn't have time for them. In the media scrum he'll brush off questions about injured players, as if they're not a part of the team unless they're available.
And in terms of acclimating, the slow starts that Skiles' Bulls teams have encountered have come hand-in-hand with quotes about getting new players up to speed and the complicated system (or at least the effort needed to execute it) on both ends.
This year is supposed to be different, with nearly every single core player back. If the Bulls want to get a top seed they can't have yet another slow start (an easier-than-usual circus trip helps too), and there should be little time spent on getting the few new guys acclimated.
I had figured that Joe Smith had the inside track to earn the starting spot for opening night. But maybe Tyrus Thomas' Bulls experience trumps general NBA experience. He had a nice game on Friday too.