It wouldn’t be a Chicago Bulls season if half the roster wasn’t on injured reserve.
The Bulls took another step towards reaching that baseline with the news that surfaced Saturday evening.
Chicago Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison is expected to have a fractured right toe re-evaluated in two weeks, league sources tell @malika_andrews and me.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 26, 2019
The Bulls confirmed the news shortly after, clarifying that Chandler Hutchison had suffered an acute injury to the sesamoid bone in his right foot and will remain in a walking boot for two to four weeks. An MRI exam he underwent on Saturday morning revealed these injuries.
The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson noticed an odd timing with this:
The release said Hutchison suffered the injury Wednesday against the Hawks. It’s unclear whether he said anything to the Bulls’ training or medical staff before posting his first double-double in Friday night’s loss to the Clippers with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He played 41 minutes, including the entire fourth quarter.
Also in that story, Jim Boylen praised Hutchison for “playing at a high level and seems to be figuring it out”, which isn’t actually true and you figure another example of Boylen going by ‘gut’ instead of what’s actually happening.
It’s also setting the stage for Boylen to blame injuries - he mentioned Denzel Valentine, heh - but despite his buck-passing indeed the Bulls ridiculously bad run of these this season.
Games missed this year out a possible 49:— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) January 26, 2019
Lauri Markkanen: 23
Zach LaVine: 6
Kris Dunn: 29
Wendell Carter: 5 (will miss 37)
Bobby Portis: 31
Chandler Hutchison: 5 (will miss at least 14)
Denzel Valentine: 49 (will miss 82)
Previously exiled for Hutchison to receive developmental minutes, now Jabari Parker will likely fill the majority of the 23.4 minutes per game Hutchison was playing since. Of course this all brings to a head the gaping hole at the small forward position, a spot where 1). Parker doesn’t naturally fit 2). Boylen has done everything in his power not to let him play.
Will Boylen relent and put Parker at this position? Or does Hutchison’s injury open the door for guys like Shaquille Harrison and Wayne Selden Jr. (also not traditional small forwards) to get more minutes? We’ll find out in a few hours.