Here are some of the top Chicago sports stories from Tuesday:
There was angst and anger among the Bulls fan base following the team's selection of Wendell Carter in Thursday's NBA Draft. Though the team had been linked to Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. - and he was far and away the biggest fan favorite - the Bulls passed on the former No. 1 prospect, opting to play it safe and find a complement to Lauri Markkanen on the frontline.
Porter fell farther than just past the Bulls at No. 7. Cleveland opted for Collin Sexton. The Knicks and Sixers went with wings similar to Porter in Kevin Knox and Mikal Bridges.
Porter didn't hear his name called until the very last selection of the Lottery, with the Nuggets grabbing the 6-foot-10 scorer. It's a dice roll for Denver, but one it can afford after it won 47 games and was Game No. 82 away from making the postseason. They're a team on the rise that doesn't need an immediate contribution from a rookie. And that's good, because Porter might not be contributing at all in his rookie season.
I would not expect Michael Porter Jr. to play this season. It’s early in the process, but just based on what I’ve heard and how much Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly stressed patience, I don’t think he’ll play. Redshirt year.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) June 22, 2018
Tim Connelly on MPJ: "I think we are going to be extremely patient, we are going to take the long view with everything we do with him. He was there certainly because there were concerns about the health of his back.”— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) June 22, 2018
More Connelly on MPJ: "We are going to be extremely patient and— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) June 22, 2018
err on the side of caution to insure he has a long career and not just a productive summer league, but it
is a little premature to answer until our guys get our hands on him.”
Gar Forman and John Paxson were asked about whether Porter was in consideration at No. 7, and if his medicals played any part in the decision to pass.
And while Forman wouldn't address medical situations, he did say the Bulls were in contact with Porter throughout the draft process.
"We spent time with Mike, he’s a great young man," Paxson said. "We’re not gonna talk about medical things. We go through a diligent process every single year.
"This year we probably had more debate and dialogue as a staff. Varying degrees of opinion were really strong. We wish him the best out in Denver."
Paxson didn't say that "debate and dialogue" necessarily included Porter, but multiple reports said the Bulls weren't interested in Porter when it came down to choosing at No. 7.
And it makes sense. The Bulls are in a position where they're beginning to move along in their rebuild. They needed a contributor, and someone who could play right away. Porter wasn't that player, and he wasn't going to be a great fit with Markkanen and Zach LaVIne anyway.
It'll always be fun to think about what could have been, but the injury risk was simply too high for the Bulls to consider using an important 7th pick on a guy who might not play for 16 months.
The Bulls ended long-standing speculation and drafted Boise State senior wing Chandler Hutchinson with the No. 22 overall pick in the first round of Thursday's 2018 NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-7 Hutchison has been linked to Chicago since opting out of the 2018 NBA Draft Combine in May as he gives the Bulls a versatile and experienced wing on the perimeter.
A late-bloomer both during high school career in Mission Viejo, California and during his four years at Boise State, Hutchison has always been willing to put in the work to reach the next levels of basketball. Hutchison elevated from a mid-major recruit into a top-100 national prospect by the end of high school. And similar to his prep career, Hutchison blossomed into a first-round pick after a slow start to his career at Boise State.
Broncos head coach Leon Rice offered strong praise for his former star player, as Hutchinson became the go-to player for the Broncos during his junior and senior seasons. Because Hutchison can play multiple spots, rebound, defend and push off the break, he's an intriguing piece for the Bulls' future rotation. Hutchison should be able to play on the wing alongside other rebuilding pieces like Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.
"I think the Chicago Bulls got a steal," Rice said to NBC Sports Chicago. "You look at the last four years, he's gotten better every year."
"I think it's a great fit. You've got a terrific coach out there for Chandler and the style that he is. It's just the same way. I think it's a really good match."
It wasn't always easy for Hutchinson at Boise State. Rice and former Broncos assistant coach Jeff Linder were both convinced that Hutchison had the ability to develop into a star from the time they started recruiting him. But Hutchison needed time to develop his strength and skill level before he became a standout player.
"Our assistant coach Jeff Linder, who I really think is one of our best evaluators, he went and watched this kid. And he calls me, and it's five minutes into the game, and he's like, 'I've seen enough. He's what we need,'" Rice said. "He's got a feel for the game, he's long. I think people labeled him a little bit because he's from Orange County. In my estimation, he didn't fit that label. He just wasn't developed yet. He was young and he looked young. He just wasn't mature yet, that's the bottom line."
When he arrived on campus, Hutchinson was a touted top-100 prospect -- a rarity for the program and the Mountain West Conference. But the program already had talented and experienced players ahead of Hutchison in the rotation. Earning playing time, and a spot in the starting lineup, wasn't guaranteed to Hutchison.
Junior wing Anthony Drmic was one of the best, and most competitive, players in the league as Hutchison had to earn his stripes by battling a veteran in practice every day as an underclassman. Forward James Webb III was another all-conference piece that was already in place for Hutchison to learn from.
"By the time he got to Boise, there were a lot of strong guys to compete with. I think that brought him something positive. Things that he didn't have," Rice said. "Anthony Drmic is one of the fiercest competitors I've ever coached. Chandler got to go against him day-in, day-out as a freshman. I don't know if across the country, who had a tougher practice. It shapes who he is today."
When Drmic and Webb departed Boise State, Hutchison was ready to step up into a consistent double-figure scorer and go-to player before his junior season. Already putting in the work to become a more well-rounded wing, Hutchison set out to improve an inconsistent three-pointer that was never above 28 percent during his first two seasons with the Broncos.
The arrival of assistant coach Phil Beckner to Boise State was another huge part of Hutchison's personal development. An experienced coach who spent time developing Damian Lillard as an assistant at Weber State, Beckner also had NBA G-League coaching experience and trained NBA players. Beckner's work with Hutchison took the junior's game, and his jumper, to a new level during his final two seasons in college.
"I think the last two years there was a great jump. He got to work with Phil Beckner, one of our assistants, who has worked with Dame Lillard and a number of players. I think he's one of the best at player development. It was a lot of hours and a lot of time doing it. A lot of dedication," Rice said.
Hutchison saw his three-point percentage jump to 37 percent as a junior as he put up 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, helping lead the Broncos to an NIT appearance. Senior year was even stronger for Hutchison. Elevating to 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, Hutchison was named first-team all-conference while being named a top-10 national finalist for the Jerry West Award.
"He led us in just about every category. And we had a good ballclub, too." Rice said. "He was a do-it-all player and he could do it at every position. He rebounded. He guarded big guys and small guys. Led the break. He's a great decision-maker with his feel."
Rice is also impressed that his star player was always coachable and easy to deal with away from the court. Hutchison earned his degree from Boise State, and even attended graduation in the midst of his pre-draft workouts in Chicago. Hutchison even flew straight back from his graduation and didn't miss his next pre-draft workout.
"He finishes. He got his degree and there's only two or three guys in the first round that got degrees and got it done. I mean, that's impressive," Rice said. "These guys that are elite-level players have so much demands on them with media and with the team and the workouts and all of these extra workouts. To get a degree while dealing with all of that is very impressive."
Hutchison has taken some time to find his footing in every level of basketball. Rice thinks playing around other talented, high-IQ players will help Hutchison's all-around game shine in the NBA. Rice in convinced that Hutchison's work ethic and versatility make him a great fit for the Bulls.
"That's what I love about him. I think he can fill a lot of different positions and a lot of different needs. Depending on what you need, night-in, night-out he can adjust his game and bring those things," Rice said.
"A great organization like the Bulls, he couldn't be more excited. It's a match made in heaven."