LAS VEGASSo who are these guys, exactly? Aside from returnee Jimmy Butler, first-round pick Marquis Teague and Leon Powethe undersized power forward is best known for winning a championship with the Celtics, but didnt play in the NBA last seasonthe players on the Bulls summer-league roster might be a collection of no-names to most fans.
That may be the case now, but judging from how the organization is proceeding in free agency, theres a good chance one or more of these participants in Sin City winds up at the Berto Center for training camp this fall. And if the franchise maintains its loose policy of not paying the luxury taxwhether or not it is decided to match backup center Omer Asiks offer sheet from the Rockets, once its received; now that Houston will reportedly acquire free-agent point guard Jeremy Lin, Asiks offer should be signed in the next few days, beginning the three-day window to match the dealit wouldnt be a shock to see a summer-league player stick on a non-guaranteed deal.
For Butler, who was deprived of a summer league before his rookie season, this is a chance to showcase the skills hes been working hard on in practice and during the offseason after only receiving scant minutes in his rookie campaign. While theres no substitute for experience, the swingman showed an aptitude for defense and was praised by coaches and teammates alike, so these games will be key in showing if he can be a reliable offensive optionknocking down open jumpers, finishing at the rim and creating off the dribble, in particularespecially now that Ronnie Brewer wont be back in Chicago.
Still an NBA novice, Teague wont be expected to dominate, but if he can take care of the ball, demonstrate a semblance of an outside jumper and on the defensive end, pressure the ball effectively, it will have been a successful trip for the Indianapolis native.
Powe is easily the most pedigreed of the names on the roster and given that hes a favorite of Tom Thibodeaus from their time together in Boston, he certainly stands a good chance of making the regular-season team, as somewhat of a Kurt Thomas-type veteran big man. His biggest issue will be showing that hes regained the mobility he once possessed, but after a hard-luck background, on and off the court, the tough product of Oakland is certainly used to persevering.
As for the other players, point guard Demetri McCameyan alum of both St. Joseph High School, where he teamed up with Philadelphia 76ers swingman Evan Turner, and the University of Illinoisis certainly a familiar name to Chicago basketball fans. After a year playing overseas, there are whispers that the organization is high on the big floor general.
Jermaine Taylor, a shooting guard with NBA experience, has bounced around in the NBA, but possesses scoring ability, something that could give him an opportunity, if he has a successful July stint. Malcolm Thomas, an athletic big man, and swingman Edwin Ubiles both had cups of coffee with NBA teamsthe Spurs and Wizards, respectivelyas rookies last season, potentially giving them a leg up on some of their peers.
As far as undrafted rookies, slender big man Henry Sims, is an extremely skilled player for his size and was projected to be drafted after exploding in his senior season at Georgetown, while Temple product Ramone Moore, a smooth shooting guard, also needs to add strength, but brings both savvy and outside shooting, an area of need for the Bulls, to the table. Even longer shots to make the team include: Olek Czyz, an athletic, but undersized power forward out of Nevada; Chase Simon, a swingman from Detroit; and Jamie Skeen, a power forward who played in Europe last season, but was a hero on the VCU squad that upset its way to the NCAA Final Four in 2011.