CSN announces its 2016 White Sox on-air/digital coverage details

CSN announces its 2016 White Sox on-air/digital coverage details

107 Regular Season Games, including the Season Opener on Monday, April 4 & Home Opener on Friday, April 8! 

Joining CSN’s 2016 White Sox announcing crew - featuring Ken “Hawk” Harrelson & Steve Stone - will include new play-by-play home game announcer/southside native Jason Benetti! 

Plus – Exclusive White Sox content 24/7 on CSNChicago.com, Every Home and Road Game in HD,

“Crosstown Cup” action vs. Cubs and more!

Chicago, IL (March 23, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet -- the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of 2016 Chicago White Sox featuring defending American League strikeout champion/perennial All-Star Chris Sale (274 K’s in 2015), first baseman/slugging superstar Jose Abreu (.303 avg. w/66 HR’s & 208 RBI in his first two big league seasons), the arrivals of third baseman/two-time NL All-Star Todd Frazier (35 HR’s & 89 RBI in ‘15), veteran shortstop/2007 NL MVP Jimmy Rollins (winner of four Gold Gloves in his 16-year career), second baseman Brett Lawrie & outfielder Austin Jackson, along with the return of emerging stars Carlos Rodon & Avisail Garcia and veteran standouts Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera and David Robertson among others -- has announced its detailed 2016 White Sox telecast schedule and accompanying on-air network  & digital coverage on CSNChicago.com. 

The 2016 White Sox season on Comcast SportsNet includes 107 live regular season games, starting off with the SEASON OPENER against the Oakland Athletics on Monday, April 4 at 9:00 PM CT, featuring the veteran White Sox announcing tandem of Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Steve Stone on the call LIVE from the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA.  Opening Day coverage begins at 8:30 PM CT with the season premiere of White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships, hosted by Comcast SportsNet’s White Sox studio tandem of Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton, along with CSN’s White Sox beat reporter Siera Santos providing live reports from Oakland.  The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of Subaru White Sox Postgame Live, featuring White Sox manager Robin Ventura’s live post-game press conference, along with player post-game reaction, expanded highlights, detailed analysis and more. 

Comcast SportsNet will also televise the 2016 White Sox HOME OPENER on Friday, April 8 at 3:00 PM CT when the White Sox host the division rival Cleveland Indians.  Coverage begins at 2:00 PM with an expanded, one-hour U.S. Cellular Field LIVE REMOTE Home Opener edition of White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships with the game immediately followed by an expanded edition of Subaru White Sox Postgame Live, also live from U.S. Cellular Field. 

Beginning this season, Comcast SportsNet welcomes new White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti to the broadcast booth as he will provide the call for every White Sox home game (with the exception of the home opener and Cubs “Crosstown” series) with partner Steve Stone, along with two road games in Toronto (Apr. 25 & 27).  A southside Chicago-area native and graduate from Homewood-Flossmoor H.S., Benetti graduated from Syracuse University in 2005, where he earned bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism, economics and psychology. In 2011, he also earned his juris doctor from Wake Forest University's School of Law. Prior to signing on with ESPN in 2011, Benetti called the play-by-play for the Class AAA Syracuse Chiefs, and has worked for Fox Sports 1, Westwood One Radio and Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.  Legendary White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson will shift to calling all road games this season, but will be on the call for the 2016 Home Opener on April 8, along with popular “Crosstown” series against the rival Cubs in late July.

In-game highlights of note for the 2016 White Sox season include a brand new NBC Sports graphics package, along with the return of CSN’s popular super slo-mo technology, which is capable of showing slow-motion replays of over 2,000 frames per second.  In addition, fans can once again look forward to “Pitch Trax” in all games this season, which animates the precise pitch location throughout the game in a variety of angles, along with CSN’s “Telestrator” into select game telecasts this season, detailing key plays, defensive field formations and much more.  Plus, viewers will once again get an in-depth look at MLB’s instant-replay system, which, upon a manager’s challenge, will review home runs, ground rule doubles, fan interference, along with numerous other in-game scenarios.

Among the 2016 White Sox regular season schedule highlights on Comcast SportsNet include 52 match-ups in the ultra-competitive AL Central Division featuring a total of 13 match-ups against the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals, along with 13 games apiece against the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, and Minnesota Twins.  In addition, viewers can look forward to four games against AL MVP Josh Donaldson and the defending AL East champ Toronto Blue Jays, four games against the defending AL West champion Texas Rangers, four games against AL Wildcard reps New York Yankees and five against the Houston Astros, plus – an expanded interleague schedule including a pair of games against the defending NL Champion New York Mets, along with additional NL East battles vs. Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington featuring 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper.  ALSO -- Comcast SportsNet will carry all four White Sox-Cubs “Crosstown Cup” interleague games this year.  (NOTE: the July 25 & 27 “Crosstown” games will be “White Sox” telecasts on Comcast SportsNet, while the July 26 & 28 games will be “Cubs” telecasts).   

From an online perspective, Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 24/7 White Sox coverage all season long, including the following highlights:

  • Live stream of White Sox manager Robin Ventura’s post-game press conferences (sponsored by Xfinity) following every home game.
  • White Sox “Insider” Dan Hayes returns for his fifth season on the beatFollow him on Twitter @CSNHayes for the latest team/player news and inside access 24/7.  Hayes will also file daily stories/video reports and will make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships, SportsTalk Live, SportsNet Central and in select Comcast SportsNet White Sox home games.
  • White Sox Pre/Postgame Live host Chuck Garfien will once again offer on-going reports and insight via his popular “Sox Drawer” posts, which will include exclusive video content.  Garfien can also be followed on Twitter 24/7 @ChuckGarfien, for up-to-the-second White Sox news. 
  • “White Sox Pulse,” a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Plus, “White Sox Pulse” aggregates all White Sox player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #WhiteSoxTalk. Fans can also get interactive on Twitter by utilizing hashtags #WhiteSoxTalk for the latest news, rumors, trades and more by following @CSNWhiteSox.
  • CSNChicago.com digital baseball reporters JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) and Paul Roumeliotis (@PaulRoumel) will also be providing game day reports, analysis and features.
  • In addition to his on-air duties, Garfien will partner with Hayes and CSN’s White Sox baseball beat reporter Siera Santos (@SieraSantos)this season on CSNChicago.com, providing multi-platform coverage via on-going special features and more. 
  • WhiteSoxTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive White Sox news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. WhiteSoxTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBaskteballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk, ChiFireTalk, BearsTalk, PrepsTalk, IrishTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • The Honda Road Ahead,” presented by the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda Dealers, will provide fans with an expanded look at upcoming White Sox opponents and key pitching match-ups.
  • CSN Chicago’s White Sox content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com.

For the ninth-straight season, Comcast SportsNet will produce every White Sox regular season home and road game in a high-definition (HD) format.   In addition, ten White Sox games are currently scheduled to be telecast on Comcast SportsNet Plus (see attached schedule).  Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN+) telecasts are provided to Comcast SportsNet affiliates and distributed to viewers when two live events are scheduled simultaneously.  CSN+ is available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for complete channel location details). Comcast Cable and RCN subscribers can also watch all CSN+ games in standard definition on CLTV. 

Before a number of White Sox games on Comcast SportsNet (including all weekend telecasts), fans can tune to White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships featuring a half-hour of pre-game analysis, interviews and the very latest White Sox news (NOTE: for weeknight 7:00 PM game start times or earlier, pre-game coverage can be found SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado featuring host David Kaplan or SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business).  Following the majority of all games, viewers can look forward to the most comprehensive post-game wrap-up show on Subaru White Sox Postgame Live featuring live coverage of White Sox manager Robin Ventura’s post-game press conferences and live locker room interviews with White Sox players.  Following primetime editions of White Sox Postgame Live, Comcast SportsNet will air GMC SportsNet Central with the most complete recap of the day’s top local and national sports news.

Comcast SportsNet

2016 Chicago White Sox Schedule

Regular Season: (every game available in HD)

1. Mon, April 4 9:00 pm @ Oakland (Road/Season Opener!)
2. Wed, April 6 9:00 pm @ Oakland
3. Thu, April 7 2:30 pm @ Oakland
4. Fri, April 8 3:00 pm vs. Cleveland (Home Opener!)
5. Sun, April 10 1:00 pm vs. Cleveland
6. Mon, April 11 3:00 pm @ Minnesota
7. Thu, April 14 12:00 pm @ Minnesota
8. Fri, April 15 6:00 pm @ Tampa Bay
9. Sun, April 17 12:00 pm @ Tampa Bay
10. Mon, April 18 7:00 pm vs. Los Angeles Angels
11. Thu, April 21 1:00 pm vs. Los Angeles Angels
12. Fri, April 22 7:00 pm vs. Texas
13. Sun, April 24 1:00 pm vs. Texas
14. Mon, April 25 6:00 pm @ Toronto
15. Wed, April 27 6:00 pm @ Toronto
16. Thu, April 28 6:00 pm @ Baltimore
17. Fri, April 29 6:00 pm @ Baltimore
18. Sun, May 1 12:30 pm @ Baltimore
19. Tue, May 3 7:00 pm vs. Boston
20. Thu, May 5 7:00 pm vs. Boston
21. Fri, May 6 7:00 pm vs. Minnesota
22. Sun, May 8 1:00 pm vs. Minnesota
23. Tue, May 10 7:00 pm @ Texas
24. Wed, May 11 1:00 pm @ Texas
25. Fri, May 13 6:00 pm @ New York Yankees
26. Sat, May 14 12:00 pm @ New York Yankees
27. Wed, May 18 7:00 pm vs. Houston
28. Thu, May 19 7:00 pm vs. Houston
29. Fri, May 20 7:00 pm vs. Kansas City
30. Sat, May 21 1:00 pm vs. Kansas City
31. Mon, May 23 7:00 pm vs. Cleveland (CSN+)
32. Tue, May 24 7:00 pm vs. Cleveland (CSN+)
33. Thu, May 26 7:00 pm @ Kansas City
34. Fri, May 27 7:00 pm @ Kansas City
35. Sun, May 29 1:00 pm @ Kansas City
36. Mon, May 30 12:00 pm @ New York Mets
37. Tue, May 31 6:00 pm @ New York Mets
38. Fri, June 3 6:00 pm @ Detroit
39. Sat, June 4 3:00 pm @ Detroit
40. Tue, June 7 7:00 pm vs. Washington
41. Wed, June 8 7:00 pm vs. Washington
42. Fri, June 10 7:00 pm vs. Kansas City (CSN+)
43. Sun, June 12 1:00 pm vs. Kansas City
44. Tue, June 14 7:00 pm vs. Detroit
45. Wed, June 15 7:00 pm vs. Detroit
46. Fri, June 17 6:00 pm @ Cleveland
47. Sat, June 18 5:00 pm @ Cleveland
48. Tue, June 21 6:00 pm @ Boston
49. Wed, June 22 6:00 pm @ Boston
50. Fri, June 24 7:00 pm vs. Toronto (CSN+)
51. Sat, June 25 1:00 pm vs. Toronto
52. Tue, June 28 7:00 pm vs. Minnesota (CSN+)
53. Wed, June 29 7:00 pm vs. Minnesota
54. Fri, July 1 7:00 pm @ Houston
55. Sat, July 2 3:00 pm @ Houston
56. Sun, July 3 1:00 pm @ Houston
57. Mon, July 4 1:00 pm vs. New York Yankees
58. Tue, July 5 7:00 pm vs. New York Yankees
59. Fri, July 8 7:00 pm vs. Atlanta (CSN+)
60. Sun, July 10 1:00 pm vs. Atlanta
61. Fri, July 15 9:00 pm @ Los Angeles Angels
62. Sat, July 16 8:00 pm @ Los Angeles Angels
63. Mon, July 18 9:00 pm @ Seattle
64. Wed, July 20 2:30 pm @ Seattle
65. Thu, July 21 7:00 pm vs. Detroit
66. Fri, July 22 7:00 pm vs. Detroit
67. Sat, July 23 6:00 pm vs. Detroit
68. Mon, July 25 7:00 pm vs. CUBS
69. Wed, July 27 7:00 pm @ CUBS
70. Fri, July 29 7:00 pm @ Minnesota
71. Tue, Aug 2 6:00 pm @ Detroit
72. Thu, Aug 4 12:00 pm @ Detroit
73. Fri, Aug 5 7:00 pm vs. Baltimore
74. Sun, Aug 7 1:00 pm vs. Baltimore
75. Tue, Aug 9 7:00 pm @ Kansas City
76. Wed, Aug 10 7:00 pm @ Kansas City
77. Fri, Aug 12 6:00 pm @ Miami
78. Sat, Aug 13 6:00 pm @ Miami
79. Tue, Aug 16 6:00 pm @ Cleveland
80. Thu, Aug 18 6:00 pm @ Cleveland
81. Fri, Aug 19 7:00 pm vs. Oakland (CSN+)
82. Sun, Aug 21 1:00 pm vs. Oakland
83. Wed, Aug 24 7:00 pm vs. Philadelphia
84. Thu, Aug 25 7:00 pm vs. Seattle
85. Sat, Aug 27 6:00 pm vs. Seattle
86. Tue, Aug 30 6:00 pm @ Detroit
87. Wed, Aug 31 12:00 pm @ Detroit
88. Thu, Sept 1 7:00 pm @ Minnesota
89. Fri, Sept 2 7:00 pm @ Minnesota
90. Sat, Sept 3 6:00 pm @ Minnesota
91. Mon, Sept 5 3:00 pm vs. Detroit
92. Tue, Sept 6 7:00 pm vs. Detroit
93. Fri, Sept 9 7:00 pm vs. Kansas City
94. Sat, Sept 10 6:00 pm vs. Kansas City
95. Tue, Sept 13 7:00 pm vs. Cleveland
96. Wed, Sept 14 7:00 pm vs. Cleveland
97. Thu, Sept 15 1:00 pm vs. Cleveland
98. Fri, Sept 16 7:00 pm @ Kansas City
99. Sat, Sept 17 6:00 pm @ Kansas City
100. Wed, Sept 21 6:00 pm @ Philadelphia
101. Fri, Sept 23 6:00 pm @ Cleveland
102. Sat, Sept 24 6:00 pm @ Cleveland
103. Mon, Sept 26 7:00 pm vs. Tampa Bay (CSN+)
104. Tue, Sept 27 7:00 pm vs. Tampa Bay (CSN+)
105. Thu, Sept 29 7:00 pm vs. Tampa Bay
106. Fri, Sept 30 7:00 pm vs. Minnesota (CSN+)
107. Sun, Oct 2 2:00 pm vs. Minnesota

107 Regular Season Games – 53 home, 54 away

Schedule Subject to Change

All Times Central Time

Bulls take sober approach in draft, satisfied with steady roster growth  

Bulls take sober approach in draft, satisfied with steady roster growth  

It wasn’t an exciting night at the Advocate Center but it was a successful one in the eyes of the rebuilding Chicago Bulls.

And a telling one, from their inaction as they stayed put to select Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr. and Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison with their two first round picks.

They’re not looking to press the fast-forward button on this methodical process, placing unrealistic expectations on themselves that they’re nowhere near ready to embrace.

But perhaps, it was necessary.

Trade offers were around, and the Bulls were enamored with Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marvin Bagley III in addition to their interest in Mohamed Bamba. But the price of swapping picks, along with giving up the 22nd spot and a future first-rounder was too rich for the Bulls, according to sources.

“We’re always looking and probing for opportunity. How close we got, we don’t know,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. “We looked into some things. We thought it was more than a six-player draft. And Wendell is a guy we’ve been high on for quite awhile.”

They believe they’ve opted for prudence instead of panic on a night where bold, confident steps are expected.

After a painful march to the end of an unsatisfying season and dropping a spot in the lottery, a trade would’ve been a do-good when many felt the Bulls should’ve been at the top of the draft order.

After all, so much was made of their scouts and staff spending so much time during the year to assess the top talent—nobody wanted to see all that unspoken promise result in a mid-lottery seventh selection.

“We feel we’re in a situation at this time of our rebuild that to give up assets, important draft assets to move up a spot or two, that didn’t make sense to us and the way we’re planning,” Paxson said. “We continue to talk about being patient and disciplined in how we make decisions.”

One can look at it as the Bulls being unwilling to embrace what comes with taking a top-four talent—especially with Jackson being viewed as a long play as opposed to an instant impact prospect—the word “playoffs” would’ve been swirling all around Madison and Wood for the next several months.

Or one can view it as a sober approach, that Paxson and Forman know there’s far too many unanswered questions about their core, that a slightly better-than-expected regular season wasn’t going to seduce them down a costly road.

They don’t seem to be completely sold on Kris Dunn as the unequivocal point guard of the future, unafraid to take Trae Young if he fell into their lap.

Zach LaVine didn’t play to his expectations, the franchise’s expectations and he didn’t look comfortable playing with the Dunn and Lauri Markkanen, in part because they didn’t have the opportunity.

He enters restricted free agency and nobody will know how much the Bulls value him until they put an initial offer in front of him, likely on the eve of free agency a week from now.

As much as the last 12 months were about hitting the reset button and trading Jimmy Butler to put themselves in this spot, the months of October to April didn’t shed as much light as many anticipated—hence the talk from Paxson about patience and not being in a rush with the rebuild right now.

Because honestly, there’s nothing to rush—the last thing this distrusting fan base wants to hear.

Carter can be exactly what the Bulls need—some ways immediately, other ways in time provided the roster construction is competent and not done at a snail’s pace, the biggest fear from this jaded fan base.

Having to sacrifice at Duke once Bagley III reclassified to get to college, his offensive game didn’t develop as much as it could have—and it’s not like he’ll be featured early on in Chicago with Markkanen and LaVine penciled in as main scoring options.

“As much as you wanna talk about the game getting away from bigs, big guys and their ability to score, the way the game’s going,” Paxson said. “He wants to set screens for guys. This is a young man who’s gonna fit into the team concept that we want to have. And Chandler will do the same.”

Carter had to submerge his talents and gifts during the one season he had to showcase it for the greater good. It speaks to a certain emotional maturity the 19-year old has, a sober approach to look at the bigger picture while still making the most of his not-so-plentiful opportunities.

“Wendell is still a young guy,” Paxson said. “Very few draft picks are finished product, especially in our game where we’re drafting so young. He’s got a lot of room to grow. Defensively as a rim protector, he’ll do really well. Verticality at the rim, he’s been taught really well. Smart kid, we think he’s gonna be really good.”

Hutchison isn’t the high-upside talent Carter is, having played four years of college ball, improving each year to the point that the Bulls supposedly made him a promise very early on in the draft process.

Their unwillingness to give up the 22nd pick, whether they like the perception or not, stems from their belief Hutchison can be an impact player.

“We like Chandler a lot,” Paxson said. “We scouted him early, scouted him often. He knew we liked him. He addresses a position of need. We had debates on wings and players at his position. His ability to rebound and take it off the board, those things are really valuable, especially the way we want to play.”

Paxson alluded to tense discussions leading to the draft, where one can surmise there was serious consideration about not just going with the status quo—their reported interest in point guard Collin Sexton should be proof of that—and that should come as a positive sign for Bulls fans, who feel the front office is satisfied with a slow-rolling, low-accountability approach since they aren’t saddling themselves with high expectations.

To paraphrase Forman, the Bulls are “still building up our asset base” and subtly saying they expect to be in a similar position next June.

Soberly saying winning and contention isn’t on the horizon can be refreshing to hear, but they walk a fine line of expressing too much comfort in things staying the way they are.


The Bulls make one aspect of rebuild clear: They’re constructing the roster around the face of the franchise in Lauri Markkanen

The Bulls make one aspect of rebuild clear: They’re constructing the roster around the face of the franchise in Lauri Markkanen

The Bulls had a decision to make Thursday night at No. 7.

Staring them in the face was Michael Porter Jr., undoubtedly the biggest risk in the draft but also one of the most talented, and a fan favorite to boot. Both Villanova’s Mikal Bridges and Kentucky’s Kevin Knox presented options who would fill needs on the wing for a Bulls team desperate for a perimeter threat. The team was also reportedly interested in Alabama point guard Collin Sexton during the pre-draft process, and the potential to trade up for a Luka Doncic or Mo Bamba at 3 or 4 was on the table.

Instead the Bulls opted against going high upside, high risk. They passed on filling one of their glaring needs. They didn’t mortgage future assets to move up in a draft they felt was already deep enough. What the Bulls did on Thursday night in selecting Duke center Wendell Carter was make clear one aspect of their rebuild: Lauri Markkanen is the face of the franchise and the man they’re constructing this roster around.

Everything that makes the 19-year-old Carter a great prospect is what detractors felt might hold Markkanen back at the next level. Carter was built to thrive in the paint, an energetic center who posted a better offensive rebounding rate (the percentage of rebounds a player grabs while on the floor) than Texas’ Mo Bamba and his 7-foot-10 wingspan. Carter was one of the best players in the country at scoring off those offensive rebounds, and he did all this while playing alongside Marvin Bagley, the No. 2 pick to Sacramento and the ACC’s leading rebounder.

But Carter is more than just a young Tristan Thompson. Though he rarely had to use it on a Duke team littered with perimeter threats, Carter showed a solid touch in making 41 percent of his 46 3-point attempts. He looks comfortable at 15 to 17 feet, and he passed well from those areas, too. That shooting will come as an added bonus; Carter was the anchor a Duke defense that transformed to zone midway through the season, and the Blue Devils defense was nearly 6 points per 100 possessions better with Carter on the floor.

It's not surprising that the Bulls were reportedly interested in moving up with centers Jaren Jackson and Bamba on the table, more defensive-minded complements to Markkanen, and not Doncic or Porter. It felt as though the Bulls were drafting at 7 not only to grab the best player available, but to maximize Markkanen's potential.

What Carter will be asked to do, at least in the early going with this roster’s makeup – is much of what he was asked to do at Duke. He played second fiddle in the frontcourt to Bagley, who led the Blue Devils in all major offensive categories and won ACC Player of the Year. Carter posted modest 13.5-point and 9.0-rebound averages while doing the dirty work on defense. His 7.6 percent block rate (percentage of shot attempts he blocked while on the court) was impressive considering how often Duke played zone.

“The young man sacrificed a lot in order to be a good teammate. A lot of it speaks to who he is,” Forman said. “We think in really studying his game is, if you look long-term, is a guy that can fit with Lauri and obviously Lauri is a huge part of what we’re trying to build here."

The Bulls are rolling the dice that Markkanen can be the face of franchise. A year ago LaVine was far and away the core piece of the Jimmy Butler trade, and that was while he was rehabbing from ACL surgery. Markkanen was a question mark and a project, and Kris Dunn was a 23-year-old rookie who posted awful numbers in Minnesota. Questions about LaVine's future in Chicago with restricted free agency this summer now linger, and Dunn is going on 24 years old with 50 career starts.

It's Markkanen's spotlight, and the Bulls know it. He showed he was for real as a rookie; he was not, however, Donovan Mitchell or Ben Simmons, a can't-miss, sure-fire star. Yes, he joined LeBron James and Dario Saric as the only members of the 1,000-point, 500-rebound, 140-3-pointer club last year. He put up shooting numbers for a 7-footer matched only by Hall of Fame center Dirk Nowitzki. Questions persist on whether he can make a leap to stardom, but adding pieces like Carter to complement him and cover some weaknesses are a step in that direction.

"You hope you draft players that become stars," Paxson said. "We believe that last year, in drafting Lauri, he has that potential. He has a long way to go, but we believe he has that potential."

That could be part of the reason the Bulls opted against moving up in the draft, like Dallas did in dealing No. 5 and a future first-round pick to grab Luka Doncic at No. 3. Paxson and Forman both hinted at the Bulls being in a state of the rebuild where giving up future assets to attain something greater didn't provide a positive net worth. They're happy and comfortable with where they stand at this stage in the rebuild, with Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis and an enormous amount of cap space.

Now they can add Carter and No. 22 pick Chandler Hutchison to that list. The 6-foot-7 Boise State forward was yet another complementary piece to the roster. Like Carter, Hutchison projects as a high floor, low(er) ceiling player. Hutchinson is a four-year senior compared to Carter being a year removed from high school, but the two are similar. Hutchison will provide a physical presence on the wing the Bulls have lacked, and he can cover defensive weaknesses of players like Denzel Valentine, LaVine and even Markkanen.

"We feel these two players complement the team and the roster that we have very well," Paxson said. "One year later we feel like we’ve added five really good young core pieces to build and that's important to us. We’re excited about the future, the direction we’re headed."

The Bulls didn’t need to roll the dice with their 7th pick on Thursday night. They rolled the dice with the same selection one year ago and hit on it. Taking Carter midway through the Lottery is a complement and a compliment to what the Bulls believe Markkanen is and what he will be for a franchise looking to get back in contention.

It's a lot to ask for a 21-year-old Finnish stretch forward. But superstars win in the NBA and the Bulls believe they have one budding at the power forward position. Thursday's decision to play it safe and draft a complementary piece in Carter, one who played a role in college he'll be asked to play in Chicago, only cements that belief.