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An assessment of the Bulls youngins has all signs pointing to...’ok’

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Dunc’d on Podcast discusses Bulls young players

NBA: Chicago Bulls-Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, on their Dunc’d On podcast, Nate Duncan and Danny LeRoux they did what nobody else seems to want to do right now: talk about the Bulls.

The tanking Bulls have taken a backseat in our minds, especially with the ‘core’ not playing. But for 15 minutes on a 79 minute podcast, Duncan and Leroux discussed the development of the team’s young players this season. There’s lots of good nuggets:

Lauri Markkanen:

  • Catch-and-shoot 3-point field goals comprise 46 percent of his shot attempts this season, and he’s shooting 36 percent on this play type.
  • Big question: Can he become an isolation scorer and beat people off the dribble or will he forever be relegated to just a catch-and-shoot and pick-and-pop threat? In an extremely small sample size, Markkanen has scored .55 points per possession when isolated which is in the fifth percentile in the NBA.
  • On post ups with no switch he averages 0.62 points per possession. When switched in the post he averages 1.36 points per possession. Translation: Markkanen needs to get stronger so he can be effective down low against guys his size.

Zach LaVine:

“The idea of him being a plus starter, is really, really distant at this point.”

^^^just what you want to hear from a guy that the Bulls need to pay after this season.^^^

  • Duncan said that he envisions LaVine developing into a Lou Williams-type role (microwave scoring sixth man), and that he’d pay him according to that projection.

Kris Dunn:

  • Dunn has a 17.3 percent free throw attempt rate which is dangerously low for a player sporting a 24.8 percent usage percentage.
  • Both wondered what is Dunn’s bread and butter offensively and how much better can he conceivably get on this end of the floor when he’s already 24 years old. His shooting has improved from last season, but is still below average. He also only shoots 53 percent on shots at the rim.
  • They figure Dunn isn’t good enough to completely deter the Bulls from picking a point guard in the draft.

Bobby Portis:

Though crediting Portis’s improved offense, there are still questions:

The idea of what the hell he is defensively still remains. If he’s a power forward, [he’s] too slow, just doesn’t have quick enough feet to guard a lot of power forwards and combo forwards not to mention if he gets into pick-and-roll defense. If he has to switch onto somebody he’s going to be a liability. As a help defender, he doesn’t have the quickness to get into position. Doesn’t have the explosion to challenge shots at the rim and some of those issues are exacerbated at center.”

Cameron Payne:

  • He’s shooting 67 percent at the rim this season which is way above his career average (50 percent).

“I like him a lot more as the third or fourth point guard than your second, and I think that’s where he is going to be with the Bulls.”

Paul Zipser:

“He is one of their best tank commanders, 5.2 player efficiency rating, 44 percent true shooting. His career was predicated on being able to hit the jump shot and then play passable defense at the other end and he hasn’t been able to do either this season.

Cristiano Felicio:

  • Defensive rebound rate and block rate continue to be concerning. He isn’t the defensive anchor you want from a center.