Wendell Carter Jr. is displaying pure dominance in just two NBA Summer League games.
The seventh overall pick of this year’s NBA draft had quite a debut in a Bulls uniform Saturday.
Carter Jr. posted 16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, two steals, and hit two three-pointers in the Bulls’ 86-81 win over the Cavaliers.
He followed that up with another stuffed stat sheet Sunday against the Lakers, tallying nine points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
Coming into the draft, Carter Jr. was known as an excellent rim protector in his one season with Duke, and he’s shown that in two summer league games, combining for nine blocked shots.
Carter Jr. has expressed his willingness to win on this rebuilding Bulls team and to expand his game.
He did have two-three pointers in the game against the Cavaliers, showing the seven-footer can stretch his game beyond the paint.
The excitement is there for the Bulls because Carter Jr. will compliment All-Rookie Lauri Markkanen of having a dominant presence up front, but to also give Markkanen more opportunities to score points.
Coach Fred Hoiberg has had nothing but praise for Carter Jr. so far.
“He’s been excellent,” Hoiberg said during the Summer League game on ESPN's broadcast of the Bulls-Lakers. “Ever since we started our minicamp, you can see the intensity he plays with, does whatever it takes to help a teammate and he’s had great experience so far going up against some experienced NBA players.”
“He doesn’t back down from anybody, his shot blocking ability is unbelievable, and he’s very comfortable with his left hand.”
Being able to show Carter Jr. can step beyond the arc, Hoiberg loves all the things he can do.
“I love his versatility, he’s a modern day big, he makes good passes, and he’s good in the pocket which is such an important skill in today’s game.”
Hoiberg also believes Bobby Portis and Robin Lopez will be good mentors for Carter Jr. in his transition into the NBA.
“Bobby had a great year last year, and Lopez is such a stabilizing force and a mentor to Wendell.”
Having so much poise at a young age, Hoiberg notices Carter Jr, does it right.
“The art of verticality takes time to understand, and he was taught as well as anybody from Coach K(Krzyzewski). He’s really mastered that at a young age. He uses his wingspan, he doesn’t foul. I’ve watched film on Wendell, and all his blocks stay in play which can start your break. He’s ability to pursue the block, he can close really quickly with his speed.”
Of course, Carter Jr. has yet to play against the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Demarcus Cousins, etc. but the energy and maturity will only continue to grow.
So far, so good for the Bulls rookie.