Biggest thing that stood out.... Billy Donovan the third? Is our coach the junior?

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Jul 7Liked by your friendly BullsBlogger

A couple of things about Phillips. One, I'm calling bullshit on his max vert number. When a guy has both a suspiciously high max vert and a suspiciously low standing reach, I call bullshit. Because the max vert isn't measured directly, but is rather equal to the max vert touch point minus the standing reach. So I think sometimes guys short their reach to juice their max vert. I'd guess Phillips' numbers are more like an 8'9-10'' standing reach (instead of 8'6'') and 39-40" max vert (rather than 43").

Second, it looks like he actually got to the rim a ton in college. Over 47% of his shots came at the rim. I keep a database of these numbers going back to 2011, and draftable wings on average take 31% of their shots at the rim.

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Jul 7Liked by your friendly BullsBlogger

Appleby was one of the bright spots for the Gators under Billy Donovan's less than stellar successor, Mike White. He transferred around the time White was fired, er, encouraged to go coach our biggest rival.

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Wasn’t Dalen Terry’s big asset supposed to be on-ball creation for others, almost like a jumbo PG? I don’t think shooting has ever really been a strength, he shot an ok % his sophomore year at Arizona but very little.

I’m m generally skeptical of taking a college teams 5th best guy in the first round

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Man this bout to be the worst team in SL. I can legitimately say the best player on this team peak is the 7-8 guy off the bench. Sanogo going to Europe. Other than Terry nobody on this squad belong on a NBA roster, I don’t even know if he dies

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Julian Phillips isn't playing because the Bulls haven't signed him to a contract yet, lol

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first half report, from Cody Westerlund:

"Dalen Terry has 2 points on 1-8 FGs (0-2 on 3s), 5 rebs, 3 asts, 3 turnovers.

decision-making on the offensive end in the first half has been really bad. "Forcing it" would be the kind way to term it. "Out of control" would probably be most fair."

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Bulls win game 1 holding SummerRaptors to 74 points, blech

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My way too early observations:

1. Terry needs to calm down. He looked straight up bad tonight and he was trying way too hard to make things happen.

2. Julian Phillips not playing because he hasn't signed a contract yet is ridiculous. What is the front office doing?

3. Sanogo isn't an NBA player. He doesn't have any amazing skills and he's way too small to play center in the NBA.

4. I'm interested to see more from Justin Lewis and MPJ's little brother.

5. I think we found our next Carlik Jones. Dos Santos appears to be a pretty good point guard, but will never make it in the NBA because of his size.

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Bulls posted some clips of Zach, Caruso, and DDR talking to the summer squad. Basically, they all said "go for yours" and it looks like the team took it to heart.

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Well if he continues to fail in SL, I think we can pack it in on him being a real player, second year NBA guys are supposed to dominate Sunmer League, not drown, so I sort of think the time for him to work on things is nearly done. The things that got him drafted are not in evidence mostly, that seems like a near fatal problem,

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Dalen Terry again looked awful. Bulls my want to forget Ayo and just sign Freeman-Liberty. At least he can shoot. Lewis got injured again. Phillips was a deer in headlights. Lofton Jr is a fatty but the dude is good.

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In reponse to some of the Vuc-haters, a half-hearted attempt at why Vuc is a top-15 center and it's borderline absurd to suggest he's a fringe NBA starter...

I posted a list of all the centers I'd rather have then Vucevic, so in a casual way I already gave some context for why I think he's top 15. It seems some would prefer I make some statistical based argument? I'll make the attempt only because I think the Vuc-hating around here has really jumped the shark into comedy lately, and I'll even litter it with some counting stats just to trigger all of the hipster advanced-stats Sophists on BAB who now think "dOuBlE DoUbLeS are for backwater simpeltons!"...

Vuc stats among NBA Centers (roughly speaking depending on how you frame it on data websites):

7th PPG, 5th APG, 5th RPG, 6th 3P%

9th PER

Now for context on the counting stats, hes 5th highest USG% among centers, so some of that counting stat production is admittedly to be expected, but that's also signifcantly lower than he had in Orlando and he's putting up similar stats due to be more efficient on things like hook shots and midrange shooting when asked.

16th eFG%, tied with Embiid and right around other 3 point shooting centers

20th TS%, not great but considering his shot profile it's noteworthy for a center and it's over 2% better than league average

2nd TOV%, right behind Brook

2nd Post-Up volume (among top-10 players, he's 3rd in Post-Up efficiency behind Jokic and Embiid)

Of 74 players averaging 17+ PPG in 2023, Vuc had the lowest average seconds per touch (1.46) - very quick decision maker

90th percentile in mid-range shooting % among all NBA players

For Defense:

Top 5 Deflections/G (2.0)

Top 5 Def-RPG (9.0)

(an aside, his O-Reb aren't much different from other centers who play away from the basket like Jokic, Embiid, Brook, and Porzingis)

8th DRTG

11th Block%

He's the starting center on a Bulls team that was 5th in DRTG, and in the NBA a center is typically the most important defensive position, while surrounded often by guys like DeMar and Zach who he's going to have to switch onto their guys or help on often. Given Vuc is not terribly mobile, that's putting him in a tough spot on defense, but he's surely performed at least average.

I don't see Vucevic as really any worse a defender than a guy like Jokic, who most people consider "passable" or "average", not able to get by on pure athleticisim and can't give you a ton of classic rim protection but he understands schemes well. And he's really the opposite of Drummond, who can give you some rim protection but gets lost out in coverage trying to do the things Vucevic is good at.

But that's all just a very long way of saying I think Vuc is pretty good if not slightly boring, he's around that top-15 NBA center range and not some fringe-starter, and though I wouldn't have signed him to the new contract I won't really waste any time worrying about him making $18.5M in 2023 especially given what Jokic, Embiid, Ayton, Gobert, KAT, and even Brook makes ($25M next season). He was also 2nd to Ayo in games played for Bulls last 2 seasons, and 1st in the NBA among centers in games played the last 2 seasons, playing a style that doesn't focus on mobility or athleticism so should theoretically preserve his playing career

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Here are some thoughts I have after watching the first 2 summer league games:

- Terry is trying to do way too much on offense. I can’t even really blame him. He’s in a terrible environment for his development. How many top 20 picks are basically auditioning to not be in the G League after their rookie year? He should be on a young, bad team that can afford to give him minutes to develop his offense on an NBA floor. Instead he’s on an old team that will only give him minutes if he’s a serviceable role player and he’s not good enough for that. Why AK didn’t just draft Kessler to be the backup center is beyond me.

- Similar to Terry, Phillips looks like a serious project. When a guy is barely visible during a summer league game, you don’t feel confident that he’ll be ready to contribute to an NBA roster anytime soon. I’d say his best case scenario is two years away from being a bench player. Good thing he’s a second round pick and will be on a shorter contract, so he can’t afford that timeline! Just wonderful team building by AK.

- The Bull who I’ve been the most impressed with is Jontay Porter. His offensive game looks solid and his size is nice. He got a couple of blocks in the last game. He should be a staple on the Windy City Bulls. Who knows, maybe there’s a future for him as a deep bench player.

- Sanogo has looked pretty good. He’s incredibly comfortable out there and could be one of those guys who dominates in the G League.

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WhiteSox could use LaVine

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Porter... he might be a guy in the G League, but he'd bring a type of player that this team is entirely lacking. I'd probably give him a long look before I'd play Drummond in most situations, and I'd look at him at the 4 in some others.

As far as I can tell (and I've looked) he's the only G League guy who has ALL of the following:

1. Real 4/5 size

2. Real 4/5 rebounding (12.9 per 36)

3. Real 4/5 shot blocking (2.8 blocks per 36)

4. Very good floor game (4 assists vs. only 2.2 TOs per 36)

5. Acceptable 3pct (34%... ok for a big) on exceptionally high volume (8.2 3pa/36)

He's literally the only guy who's got all of those things, and each of them, individually, is something highly desirable. None of his statistical profile shows any obvious red flags (no high TO rate or foul rate or sub 30% shooting, for example). Everything is positive here. It's pretty much the most obvious play in the world to give this guy a chance.

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