Naturally, given that the Bulls came off a big win and are possibly getting healthy again, I'm going to focus quickly on the rare thing that isn't working for the team right now: Tony Snell.
Snell lost his rotation turn in the second half of the Knicks' game to E'Twaun Moore. On Friday against the Grizzlies, he missed four quick shots in six first-half minutes, including three 3-pointers, and also missed defensive assignments.
Bulls By the Horns, who are often enamored with bad players because they're young, laments how the Bulls don't use the DLeague for situations like this.
Tony Snell is not going to help Thibs win games playing like he is. But he’s also not going to get any better if Thibs doesn’t let him on the court. This is the classic conundrum faced by any good team. Insofar as the Bulls are concerned, their options seem to be either play Snell (or whoever) more and live with whatever his shortcomings are or staple him to the bench.
The post is less about Tony Snell in particular than it is how the Bulls aren't investing in the DLeague as an organization. As of now, without their own affiliate, the Bulls would be sharing a single DLeague team with 12 other franchises. So it makes the Bulls decision a bit more understandable when it comes to Snell.
Snell, currently, is awful. He's a 3-and-D player missing two critical skills. Thibs doesn't want to use him, which likely speaks to how poorly he practices. In a season where a lot has gone right, this is definitely one of the few question marks. Because right now we all are just calling Jimmy Butler indestructible until proven otherwise, which doesn't seem like a sound long-term strategy.
With Doug McDermott shelved for weeks, Snell's still technically needed with the big club, even if he's just providing Butler token rests. If the Bulls work McDermott back in the rotation or if the Bulls make a minor acquisition, Snell would definitely be on the total outs again. The Bulls have salvaged a similar situation before in the form of a midseason trade with James Johnson and Marquis Teague (the latter not even getting a pick), which I would expect to happen before Snell is given a chance in the DLeague. Snell's cap hit for next year is small, but it's greater than zero.
As BBtH point out, the Bulls probably haven't done right by 'development' when it comes to their fringe talent like this in the past. They've also drafted Butler, Gibson, and Mirotic late in drafts so they have goodwill stored up for years. And rightfully so. But it's not without complaint, at least at this complaint-factory!