Barring any last minute setbacks, Chandler Hutchison should be back on the active roster for Friday’s home game against the Detroit Pistons.
Hutchison has been rehabbing from a hamstring injury he suffered during summer workouts, and he spent the last 3 days taking part in the opening practices of training camp with the G-League Windy City Bulls.
“It’s feeling good. Limits have been off the for the last couple days," Hutchison said. "They’ve kind of tailored the practice plan to things I really need to do like going up and down full court, 5 on 5, and I mean it’s been great. Full practice tomorrow (Thursday) with the Bulls, obviously the guys get back after their game in Cleveland. If everything goes good, what I’ve communicated with our training staff is that we’re going to give it a shot on Friday.”
Hutchison was hoping to take on a bigger role this season after a toe injury limited him to just 44 games as a rookie. He worked hard throughout the off-season to develop more consistency with his 3 point shot, only to see his progress slowed by suffering the hamstring injury just before the start of training camp.
“It was a bummer coming off the toe that set me back last year, and then having to deal with the start of this season with the hamstring," he said. "I just got people that are staying with me, teammates always encouraging me to trust the process and not rush back into it. I felt so comfortable throughout this process and the guys are giving me that confidence to be able to just trust it all and come back when I’m ready.”
It’s been tough for Hutchison to watch from the sideline while the Bulls struggled through the opening week of games, losing three of their first four. But the former Boise St. star can see how his talents will fit perfectly with a more up-tempo offense the Bulls are running this season.
“That’s something my whole career has kind of been where I’ve shined most," Hutchison said. "Being able to get that rebound, pushing in transition and using my athleticism to make plays, pass, find guys. So, it’s going to be perfect. The opportunity is going to be there. It’s just getting acclimated with some of the new guys we got, playing with them, but also just getting my feel back, because it’s been quite a while playing under this system and the offense, things like that. It’s going to take a little time, but I’m ready to get up there. As long as I’m healthy and 100 percent, then it’s full go.”
With the Bulls cautiously managing the minutes load for starting small forward Otto Porter Jr., the second unit has been extremely small at times with Kris Dunn, Coby White and Ryan Arcidiacono manning the three perimeter spots. Adding another athlete with Hutchison’s length should give the reserve group another dimension, especially after the Bulls were outrebounded 63-38 against the Knicks Monday night.
“The first thing I see right away is our defensive effort," he said. "For me, last year that was kind of what I was able to hang my hat on was knowing that, okay we’ve got a wing defender. I can take of my business on whoever that might be out there on the court.
“That’s the first thing is where can I plug in and help. I’m just ready to get back out there in really whatever role I’m seeing certain areas and things that we need to get better. I’m just gonna try to fit in and do whatever I can to help this team get on a little win streak here.”
With the Bulls looking for a boost on the defensive end, getting a rangy wing defender like Hutchison back in the rotation definitely should help.
BULLS: Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Bulls games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.