Bulls

Bulls: Jimmy Butler had the 8th best-selling NBA jersey this year

Bulls: Jimmy Butler had the 8th best-selling NBA jersey this year

Jimmy gets Buckets, and Bulls fans get his jersey.

The Bulls superstar ranked 8th on the list of top NBA selling jerseys this season, the league announced Tuesday. It's the second time Butler has appeared on the list, up from No. 10 last season.

Dwyane Wade also made a splash this offseason when he left Miami after 13 seasons to join the hometown Bulls. Fans responded by making him the 11th top-selling jersey in the league.

The same happened for former Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who slotted in at No. 12 after being traded to the Knicks this offseason.

The Knicks (Rose, Kristaps Porzingis) and Warriors (Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson) were the only other teams with multiple players on the top-15 list.

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State
2. LeBron James, Cleveland
3. Kevin Durant, Golden State
4. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
5. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
6. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio
7. Kristaps Porzingis, New York
8. Jimmy Butler, Chicago
9. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
10. James Harden, Houston
11. Dwyane Wade, Chicago
12. Derrick Rose, New York
13. Klay Thompson, Golden State
14. Isaiah Thomas, Boston
15. Damian Lillard, Portland

The Bulls also finished third in the NBA among most popular team merchandise, finishing behind last year's NBA finals participants in Golden State and Cleveland.

The long-awaited debut of the Bulls starting lineup, rusty Wendell Carter Jr. and all

The long-awaited debut of the Bulls starting lineup, rusty Wendell Carter Jr. and all

After getting a look at each point guard in the starting lineup this preseason, Jim Boylen finally got a look at what appears to be his starting lineup for Opening Night. 

Tomas Satoransky started as the point next to Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Wendell Carter Jr. That group was down 10-7 when Carter subbed out at the 8:36 mark but looked better in later stints in the game. 

Carter was noticeably slow on his first step on his defense, specifically on plays where Raptors center Chris Boucher was able to use his speed and length advantage to finish at the rim. But he was solid on the glass, even chipping in on the offensive rebounding side of things, grabbing 3 offensive boards in the first half alone. 

Carter was clearly re-adjusting to the speed of NBA basketball and as play-by-play broadcaster Stacey King noted during the game, he "just doesn't have his legs underneath him." He was 1-6 from the floor, struggling to get lift as he went up for putback layups around the basket. 

That being said, he was decent, more so on the defensive side of the floor where he became more active as the game wore on.

In his 16-minutes stint, Carter posted 10 points, 7 rebounds, an assist and a block, while picking up 3 personal fouls. 

Outside of Carter's return stint, the Bulls new-look starting group looked solid and offers hope as we approach the start of the NBA regular season.

4 takeaways from the shorthanded Bulls' preseason loss to the Pacers

4 takeaways from the shorthanded Bulls' preseason loss to the Pacers

The Bulls dropped to 0-3 on the preseason with Friday night’s 105-87 loss to the Pacers in Indianapolis. Here are four takeaways:

One of Jim Boylen’s main offseason mantras drew its first test

The Bulls’ coach liked to use the word “redundancy” when discussing his input towards management’s reshaping of the roster. Too often last season, Boylen felt, the Bulls had to change their game plan or style of play depending on what personnel was available.

This season, with the additions of versatile players like Tomas Satoransky, Thaddeus Young and Coby White, Boylen’s goal was to play the same way no matter which lineup he used.

Boylen’s decision to rest Satoransky, Young, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter Jr. offered the Bulls their first true test. Results proved a mixed bag.

With Wendell Carter Jr., Chandler Hutchison and Shaq Harrison still sidelined by injury, Boylen started Kris Dunn, White, Denzel Valentine, Luke Kornet and Daniel Gafford. Cristiano Felicio and Adam Mokoka were the first two reserves off the bench.

The Bulls wanted to play fast and keep their 3-point attempts high. White, in particular, stood out with his consistently aggressive offensive approach. The rookie finished with 24 points on 10-for-22 shooting and continues to look unfazed by the big stage. He added eight rebounds but failed to record an assist.

But the Bulls shot just 5-for-27 from 3-point range after attempting 38 and 37 in the first two games. Valentine missed four of five and shot 1-for-9 overall, failing to take advantage of his first big opportunity of this preseason.

The guard rotation is basically set

Boylen’s decision to sit Satoransky with other starters and play Dunn again telegraphed intentions to start Satoransky in the regular season alongside LaVine.

But Dunn continued to show why there’s a role for him as a reserve wreaking havoc at the defensive end. Dunn finished with six steals, which was good since he committed seven turnovers. Dunn continues to struggle with his decision-making. His passes seem a split-second slow this preseason.

White is making it virtually impossible to keep him out of the rotation. Over the summer, Boylen talked with his coaching staff about using White roughly 20-24 minutes per game. So look for him to back up LaVine and play off the ball more but still able to push it in transition in the multi-ballhandler system. He and Dunn can play off each other.

Ryan Arcidiacono showed his value

Some fans and league observers expressed surprise when the Bulls re-signed the gritty guard to a three-year, $9 million deal. But Arcidiacono, who only played seven mop-up minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Pelicans, demonstrated again how he’s the type of player who can sit for several games and then contribute if given minutes.

This doesn’t even take into account Arcidiacono’s strong practice habits.

Arcidiacono scored one basket on a classic, old-fashioned pump fake, spin and scoop in the lane, barely jumping. And he executed one textbook boxout of Domantas Sabonis, who is eight inches taller.

The backup center battle remains legitimate

Assuming Carter is healthy, who backs him up between Kornet and Gafford could be based on the opponent. Both have made impacts in different ways.

Gafford posted nine points, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks and continued to run the floor like his life depended on it. His defensive presence and energy could be needed on some nights.

Kornet is more offensive-minded but, at 7 foot-1, offers rim protection. He scored on one fadeaway, one-legged jumper in the first quarter that recalled vintage Dirk Nowitzki.