Bulls

Why the Bulls should take Admiral Schofield with the No. 38 pick

Why the Bulls should take Admiral Schofield with the No. 38 pick

At the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, Admiral Schofield was a finalist for the Julius Erving Award that goes to the top small forward in the nation, and with good reason. In his senior season, the 6-foot-6 forward hit a number of career-best marks. Schofield’s awesome individual season played a big part in Tennessee’s run to the Sweet 16.

Strengths:

Among the career-bests for Schofield this season were: 47.4 percent shooting from the field, 41.8 percent from the 3-point line and 16.5 points per game.

Schofield shot 476 attempts from 3-point range at a 38.7 percent rate over his four-year NCAA career, more than enough for us to determine that his accuracy from deep is no fluke. Since he was a four-year player, every opponent knew that he was hunting for 3-point shots. When Schofield’s man committed to getting a hard closeout on the drive, they risked getting dunked on.

The scarcity of elite, 3-and-D wing players make Schofield an incredibly enticing prospect due to the fact that he already excels as a physical defender and has a nice 3-point stroke. His 6-foot-10 wingspan gives him the potential to guard up a position and he will fight in the post to hold his ground against bigger players.

By no means is Schofield a defensive playmaker, but he doesn’t need to rack up a ton of steals and blocks to be effective on D. He is usually in solid position to provide defensive help from the weakside, and theoretically, should be free to be a much more aggressive defender with an NBA shot blocker behind him.

Schofield’s stats are very similar to Otto Porter’s career numbers during his two years at Georgetown. His steal and block rates are lower than Porter’s, but Schofield has a much larger sample size when it comes to projecting his 3-point shooting to the NBA level. I have great confidence that Schofield will come into the league shooting between 34-to-38 percent from 3-point range.

It took Otto Porter three seasons in the league to become a solid 3-point shooter, but Schofield obviously has more experience than Porter had coming into the NBA Draft. He is one of the safer picks in the draft in my opinion because of his experience. The fact that he is a prospect with a clearly defined role and who also understands his limitations will likely make him a coach’s favorite should he stick on a roster.  

Weaknesses:

The fact that Schofield has more turnovers than assists in his career (188 vs 177) and doesn’t possess much in terms of offense off the dribble limits his offensive upside greatly. We already talked about how he can attack a closeout with a straight line drive, but he is not going to break his defender down off the dribble in an isolation situation.

Being a player that relies so heavily on his jumpshot for offense, it is extremely worrying that he doesn’t get to the free throw line much.

Schofield has attempted only 2.1 FTA per game for his career. In the 2018-19 season, his free throw attempt rate was a career-low 17.1 percent. On top of that, he is about 6-foot-5 without shoes on, so despite the long arms he can have serious problems finishing over length in the paint.

When Tennessee took on Auburn in the SEC Championship, they lost by a whopping 20 points behind an awful offensive and defensive effort. Schofield was by no means the main issue, but he was a large part of the problem. He went 1/8 from the field, which included 0/2 from 3-point range, 2 assists and 3 turnovers.

Schofield also had four personal fouls in 33 minutes in the SEC Title game. The point of highlighting this specific performance is that it perfectly encapsulates all of the main concerns that surround him as an NBA prospect. Auburn’s defense was extremely physical and ranked 36th in the nation per KenPom.com. They were able to limit his 3-point attempts and challenge him to finish at the basket. And on the defensive end of the floor, Auburn forced Schofield to guard, attacking him whenever the chance presented itself. Depending on the team he gets drafted to, NBA defenses may be able key in on Schofield, forcing him to drive into the paint.

The fear is that if NBA defenses can take away his catch-and-shoot game, Schofield doesn’t possess enough offensive versatility to make an impact, especially when the intensity rises in the postseason.

Long term outlook:

In the NBA, teams will try to do what the Auburn Tigers did to Schofield, except they are even more equipped to frustrate him with rangy wing players. But nonetheless, he has proven that he is a legit shooter who is absolutely money on catch-and-shoot attempts. In the 2018-19 season, Schofield shot 51.5 percent on his shots classified as “short midrange” attempts per The Stepien’s shot chart tool. If he can score that efficiently on short midrange shots at the NBA level, it could be a nice counter to hard closeouts when can’t get all the way to the rim.

He is built like a tank, so he has a strong case to be a durable player who can log heavy minutes if need be. Every team in the league could use another strong perimeter shooter with the potential to be a solid switch defender down the line.

In the case of Schofield, he brings an extremely high-motor and has shown that he can be part of a winning program, the exact type of prospect that we have seen the Bulls front office prioritize over the years. If Schofield can tighten up his ball handling and start to make better reads on offense, he can quickly work his way to being a starting SF in the NBA, rather than a solid bench wing, a much more likely outcome.

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In expected move, Bulls name Tomas Satoransky starter over Kris Dunn

In expected move, Bulls name Tomas Satoransky starter over Kris Dunn

In quite the clever move, the Bulls solved their so-called point guard controversy by renaming the position “lead guard.” This is a nod to Jim Boylen’s multi-ballhandler system.

Whatever it’s called, Tomas Satoransky will start in it for Thursday’s preseason finale and the Oct. 23 regular-season opener in Charlotte.

In an expected move, Boylen made that news official following Wednesday’s practice. Satoransky will start alongside Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. Kris Dunn and Coby White will come off the bench.

“I’ve been happy with both of them. They’re both in good places. I think this is what’s best for our team, and I think it will be great for both of them individually,” Boylen said of Satoransky and Dunn. “Kris has to be kind of our defensive force in that second group. He can impact the game coming off the bench. He’s embraced it, I’ve spoken with him, and we had a good conversation about it. He’s all about winning, and I’m really proud of him.’’

Boylen cited Satoransky’s shooting ability to space the floor and quick and accurate decision-making as primary factors behind the decision. He reiterated the organization’s belief in Dunn, who had six steals and 11 deflections in last Friday’s preseason game in Indiana and can be a defensive force with the second unit.

“You know I’ve always said he’s a terrific kid. I’ve always said he’s for the team. I’ve always said he’s very coachable,” Boylen said of Dunn. “Those things haven’t changed how I feel about him and what he’s done. But I do think that he’s in a really good place. I do think he had some introspection and got some time away, and it was good for him. He said it, we’ve said it, he’s prepared to help the team win, and that’s his mindset. That’s what we need. We talked earlier in the year, it’s going to be about sharing and sacrifice, and he’s going to come off that bench and help us win.”

Barring foul trouble, Satoransky likely will play in the range of 30 to 32 minutes, while Dunn could be in the 18 to 22 minutes range. Boylen consistently has talked about the need for sacrifice for the Bulls to make the jump to a contending team.

The Bulls aggressively pursued Satoransky during July free agency, acquiring him in a sign-and-trade transaction with the Wizards and agreeing to a three-year, $30 million deal whose final season isn’t fully guaranteed. He quickly endeared himself to Boylen by not asking about starting during the recruiting period, merely saying he wanted to be a part of what the Bulls are building.

“I love the way he throws the ball ahead,” Boylen said. “I love his command of our offense already. He’s obviously a terrific shooter. He can play off those guys, he can play on the ball and off those guys and create space. Him and I have a real good connection and he’s got a really good feel. And I feel confident in him running that first group.”

Satoransky averaged 11.2 points and 6.6 assists in 46 starts at point guard for the Wizards last season after John Wall went down with a season-ending injury. He also started eight games at small forward. It’s this versatility that Boylen envisions using in a backcourt rotation that includes LaVine, Dunn and White.

“I’ve felt really good with them on the floor,” Satoransky said of minutes with the starters. “For me, it was getting used to every player, not only with certain lineups. But I felt really good, especially last game. I think we have a lot of shooters on the floor. That gives us an advantage and spacing to attack, especially for Zach. Hopefully we can continue to get better and have options there.

“I try to run the team, put them in the best position where they can succeed. Run with pace. Keep the spacing. Try to organize the team. That’s what I’ve been trying to do for my whole career. And do the little things. I think it’s expected for me to come up with energy on the defensive side. I’m trying to do that and compete for every ball.”

Boylen favorites Ryan Arcidiacono and Shaq Harrison also are available, as are Denzel Valentine and Chandler Hutchison, who has yet to play with a hamstring injury.

Dunn remains the team’s best on-ball perimeter defender and has returned to the Bulls saying and doing all the right things after an offseason of reflection that briefly involved him wanting a change of address. In fact, sources said in July that the Bulls held substantial trade talks centered on Dunn, at one point trying to re-acquire Justin Holiday from the Grizzlies in a sign-and-trade transaction.

Instead, Dunn reported to September voluntary workouts with a strong work ethic and clear mind. He has drawn raves from coaches and teammates alike for his team-first attitude.

“We’re developing Coby White as a basketball player,” Boylen said. “We’re not going to put him in this situation where he’s a 1, he’s a 2 or he’s a 3, he’s a this, he’s a that. He’s a basketball player; he’s a baller. He plays well off other people. He plays well with the ball in his hands. He plays well off a live catch. He can run pick-and-roll. He has positional size, toughness, physicality. Not concerned about somebody saying he needs to be this or that, he just needs to play.”

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Jason Goff to join NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls coverage team

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USA Today

Jason Goff to join NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls coverage team

Chicago, IL (October 16, 2019) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE NEW, EXCLUSIVE HOME FOR EVERY BULLS GAME - has announced Chicago sports media personality/NBA expert JASON GOFF will be joining the network as host of Bulls Pregame Live/Bulls Postgame Live beginning this season.  The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Vice President/General Manager, NBC Sports Chicago.

Goff’s first official appearance on NBC Sports Chicago takes place on Wednesday, October 23 for the network’s multi-platform coverage of the 2019-20 NBA SEASON OPENER, as the Bulls travel to face the Eastern Conference rival Charlotte Hornets (an expanded, one-hour Opening Night edition of Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light begins at 5:00 PM CT, Bulls-Hornets tip-off at 6:00 PM, Bulls Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois immediately follows the game).  NOTE: Every Bulls game will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com and the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app.  

In addition to his Bulls Pre/Postgame Live hosting duties, Goff will also make additional appearances throughout the season on a variety of NBC Sports Chicago’s programs and cross-platform portals, including SportsTalk Live and the network’s “Bulls Talk” podcast.  

“Jason is an impact player who joins our already outstanding Bulls content team,” said Cross.  “His deep knowledge and lifelong passion for the NBA, especially the Bulls, will benefit all of our fans on all of our platforms.  We couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming NBA season as the only home for Bulls basketball.”

“I’m looking forward to joining the NBC Sports Chicago team and the exceptional Bulls coverage we provide to Bulls fans all year round,” added Goff. “I was that kid watching Bulls games in his basement on SportsChannel and now I have a chance to help cultivate that same energy to Bulls fans old and new on NBC Sports Chicago, it’s just a dream come true.”

Goff, a native of Evanston, Ill., has been a fixture on the Chicago sports media scene for close to two decades.  After attending Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Goff began his sports broadcasting career at WSCR AM 670 “The Score” in 2000 and quickly escalated to become one of the station’s top producers.  In 2007, Goff was named producer of WSCR’s “The Boers and Bernstein Show,” a role he held through 2012 before leaving Chicago for Atlanta to become the WZGC-FM 92.3 “The Game” new full-time evening host, along with handling pre/postgame hosting duties on the Atlanta Hawks Radio Network.  Also, while in Atlanta, Goff was an integral part of SiriusXM NBA Radio’s national relaunch, as he hosted the station’s popular midday show featuring former NBA greats Sam Mitchell, Malik Rose, and Kenny Smith.

Goff returned to Chicago in 2014 as a primary host for national NBA shows on both SiriusXM NBA Radio and Bleacher Report on SiriusXM.  In 2015, Goff returned to WSCR and was named midday co-host with Matt Spiegel on “The Spiegel and Goff Show” and later moved to afternoons joining Dan Bernstein on “The Bernstein and Goff Show.”  Most recently, Goff continued hosting stints with SiriusXM NBA Radio, along with SiriusXM Big Ten Radio, and also with ESPN Radio’s “The Spain and Company Show” featuring host Sarah Spain, and the “GTL Show” featuring Goff, Taylor Twellman and Rachel Lindsay.  In addition, Goff has made numerous appearances local television appearances on WFLD-TV’s (Fox 32 Chicago) “The Final Word with Lou Canellis,” along with “Windy City Live” on WLS-TV (ABC 7 Chicago).

NBC Sports Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year.  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs multi-platform coverage, plus - local sports discussion programs that includes SportsTalk Live, and massive cross-platform coverage provided by the network’s growing digital platform, NBCSportsChicago.com, the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app, and its variety of fan-focused social media outlets. Fans can follow the network on Twitter via @NBCSChicago.  

NBC Sports Regional Networks is NBC Sports Group’s portfolio of nine regional networks that delivers more than 2,200 live sporting events and original content to more than 35 million homes. Aligned within Eastern and Western Divisions, the NBC Sports Regional Networks are: NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia +, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington + and SNY; and NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago/NBC Sports Chicago+, and NBC Sports Northwest. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios, headshots and logos, please visit www.NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

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