The Bulls officially consummated their trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, acquiring point guard Michael Carter-Williams for Tony Snell Monday morning, in a deal that was agreed upon late Saturday night.
Carter-Williams, the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year in Philadelphia before being traded to Milwaukee in the 2014-15 season, is expected to be the primary backup point guard to starter Rajon Rondo once he takes his physical later Monday afternoon.
He won't be available for Monday's preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets, but could play later in the week as the Bulls head to Omaha, Nebraska.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is excited about the possibilities of having another playmaker in the backcourt, and not so much concerned about his lack of shooting (Carter-Williams shot 27.3 percent from deep last year).
“I think he’s a versatile basketball player,” Hoiberg said. “He’s shown he can get into the ball and defend full court. His numbers speak for itself on what he can do on the floor as a scorer, averaging over 14 and a half points for his career. Also a very good rebounder and passer with good vision, averaging six rebounds and six assists for his career. Just excited to get him, a long and athletic guard that can play multiple positions.”
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Playing Carter-Williams as a facilitator for the second unit with players like Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic and Denzel Valentine as shooters could be his greatest offensive value, as the Bulls can put him on the block to create double-teams to create open shots.
Ideally, Snell was supposed to fill that role for the Bulls as a secondary perimeter defender but couldn’t find his footing or a fit with his spotty play. He struggled all last season and didn’t seem to be a fit with the new pieces the Bulls acquired over the summer.
“It’s tough because they become family,” said Taj Gibson, who talked to Snell Sunday night and said Snell was happy someone wanted him. “There have been a lot of ups and downs, been in a lot of hostile situations with them. So it’s always tough but it’s the business part of it. It never gets easy but you have to just wish them well knowing they’re going to a better situation to help their game and just keep pushing forward.”
Gibson remembers Carter-Williams from the Bulls-Bucks playoff series in 2015 and said Carter-Williams defended Derrick Rose “extremely well” in the six-game tilt, so he can see how Carter-Williams can fit in defensively.
“He’s a talented young player,” said Gibson, while agreeing with the assertion Carter-Williams can get under opponents’ skin with his style. “He’s a point that can really handle the ball and get guys open looks. He can guard.
“Because he’s long, he’s really taller than most point guards plus he’s aggressive as far as rebounding the ball on the offensive end and he’s going to being a lot of toughness to the team.”