Bulls

Bulls get 'well-rounded player' in Germany's Paul Zipser

Bulls get 'well-rounded player' in Germany's Paul Zipser

When Gar Forman and the front office saw German small forward Paul Zipser still on the board at No. 48, they pounced at the opportunity to add him.

The 6-foot-8 Zipser has spent the last four seasons with Bayern Munich of the German BBL, most recently averaging 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 40 games. He also shot 49 percent from the field and made 43.6 percent of his 1.9 3-point attempts per game. He was named the BBL’s “Best Young German Player” in 2016 and projects as a small forward at the next level.

“We think is very, very talented,” Forman said at the Advocate Center on Thursday. “He’s got some size and athleticism. He can shoot the ball and has got a skill level. We had a chance to see him. Ivica Dukan, who heads up our international scouting, is extremely high on him.”

Zipser is considered old by both international and rookie standards. Already 22 years old, however, it gave the Bulls a chance to do their homework and analyze his game more in-depth than some of the younger overseas players who entered this year’s draft. Zipser first put his name in the draft in 2015 before withdrawing.

He’s not unfamiliar to playing with NBA players, either. In addition to his time with Bayern Munich, Zipser was named to Germany’s national team last season. He competed at Eurobasket 2015 with current NBA players Dirk Nowitzki and Dennis Schroder, averaging 5.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He finished fourth on the team in scoring behind Schroder (21.0 points), Nowitzki (13.8) and Tibor Pleiss (9.2), who played 12 games with the Utah Jazz last season. Germany went 1-4 in the tournament.

“He’s a guy we’ve seen quite a bit of,” Forman said, “and feel we knew him pretty well.”

Zipser has a $600k buyout option in his final year with Bayern Munich, according to Draft Express' Jonathan Givony, and Forman said the expectation is for him to join the Bulls this season. He won’t participate in the Bulls’ Summer League this July as he competes for Germany’s national team in the 2016 Olympics but is expected to return for training camp.

The Bulls almost lucked in to Notre Dame point guard Demetrius Jackson, the Notre Dame point guard who could have been an option at No. 14. Instead, he fell to No. 45, where the Celtics swooped him up with their fourth of six draft picks.

Instead, Zipser will give the Bulls continued depth on the wing after they selected Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine in the first round. He’s still very much a project as he acclimates to the NBA style, but the Bulls were happy to come away with a player they had scouted and seen enough of to spend a draft pick on.

“He’s got really good tools with his size. He’s a strong kid, he’s got good size at 6-foot-8 for the wing position,” Forman said. “He’s got a skill level. He can shoot it from beyond the arc, he can handle it, he can pass. He’s a well-rounded player.”

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

According to Bleacher Report, Wendell Carter Jr. would be taken fourth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies if the NBA were to redraft this year’s class based off of Summer League performances.

It may sound like a crazy concept (and it is), but Carter Jr. averaged the second most points, 14.6, through five July games in Las Vegas. He also averaged 9.4 rebounds and shot 55 percent from the field while averaging 28.8 minutes in his glamorous first-stint with Chicago. Those numbers are even more striking if you consider Carter Jr.’s 42.9 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Carter Jr., the real seventh overall pick of this year’s NBA Draft, looked like the all-around player the Bulls were hoping to get this offseason. He made his blocking abilities as a center known from the moment he stepped on the court in Summer League.

In their re-draft, Bleacher Report had Chicago using the No. 7 pick on the New York Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson, who was actually taken 36th overall in last month’s Draft.

Robinson, a center, averaged 13 points and 24.8 minutes per game over five Summer League contests. He was the best rebounder on his team with an average of 10.2 in the five games that the Knicks played.

The 20-year-old took the second most shots on the Knicks and had the highest field goal percentage at 67 percent, but Robinson did not have any three-point attempts.  What made his recent production seem even more surprising was the fact that the 7'1'' big man did not play a single minute of college basketball.

But would Robinson fit in the Bulls’ system?

Chicago has taken on an offense-first mentality, so Robinson would not be as great of a fit in the Bulls lineup as Carter Jr., but he would still be an impact player. He can be compared to the Bulls’ current center Robin Lopez, who averaged a similar amount of points per game (11.8 points in 26.4 minutes) last season as Robinson’s Summer League average (13 points in 24.8 minutes). And like Lopez, Robinson will likely be most effective around the basket and in the pick-and-roll.

Robinson would also have to learn the defensive concepts that a veteran like Lopez has mastered over his 10-year career.

Next season, the Bulls will have an exciting scoring trio of Jabari Parker, Lauri Markkanen and Carter Jr. in the frontcourt. And the fact that Carter Jr. is getting so much love in the national spotlight is yet another reason for Bulls fans to be excited about this upcoming season.

Jabari Parker channels his inner Uncle Drew: This game is about getting buckets

jabariparkerdefense.png
USA TODAY

Jabari Parker channels his inner Uncle Drew: This game is about getting buckets

The Bulls gave Jabari Parker a two-year, $40 million deal for good reason.

One, the Bulls had the salary cap space to get the deal done and had just about filled out their roster. The money wasn't going to be used elsewhere. Also, the second year of the deal is a team option which gives the Bulls some security should Parker not be able to stay healthy or play up to the standards such a salary commands.

Parker was given that money for multiple reasons. One of those reasons was not for his defense.

But, according to Parker, no one gets paid for their defense.

Speaking on 670 The Score on Wednesday, Parker was asked about whether he felt he had the ability and effort to defend in the NBA, something he hasn't done particularly well in four seasons.

"I just stick to my strengths. Look at everybody in the league. They don’t pay players to play defense," Parker said. "There’s only two people historically that play defense. I’m not going to say I won’t, but to say that’s a weakness is like saying that’s everybody’s weakness. Because I’ve scored 30 and 20 on a lot of guys that say they play defense.

"If you know the game, you also know that everyone’s a pro, right? And you know that certain guys have an average. No matter what you do, they still get that average. They pay people to score the ball, and I would hope that somebody scores the ball on me if they pay them that much. So, I’m not saying that to cop out or nothing. It’s the NBA. We’re professionals. Everybody scores. It’s just about limiting them as much as you can, trying to contain them."

Parker's right in one sense, that players are usually paid for their offensive output. There are also more tangible, easily read statistics on the offensive end than there are defensively. Heck, the Bulls gave $80 million to Zach LaVine and he was the team's worst defender last season.

But then again, defense matters. A whole lot, especially at a time when offenses are better than ever (thus making defenders more valuable). The final four teams in last year's playoffs were ranked 1st, 6th, 9th and LeBron James (29th) in defensive efficiency.

A day after Parker's comments the Celtics gave Marcus Smart a four-year, $52 million contract. He's a career 37 percent shooter and has made 29 percenet of his 3-pointers in four seasons.

So while Parker, a below-average defender, might not be entirely accurate, at least he's owning who he is. And if he scores like he did in Year 3, averaging 20 points before re-tearing his ACL, no one will care how he defends.