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Bulls’ Wendell Carter Jr. likely out weeks with ‘serious’ ankle sprain

Boston Celtics v Chicago Bulls

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 04: Wendell Carter Jr. #34 of the Chicago Bulls plays during the second half against the Boston Celtics at United Center on January 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

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Wendell Carter Jr. has been rock solid for Chicago this season. When he is on the court the offense flows better, and coach Jim Boylen described him as the Bulls best defensive player. When Carter has been on the court this season the Bulls outscore opponents by 1.4 points per 100 possessions, but when he sits they get outscored by 6.1.

Now he’s going to sit a lot, likely missing weeks with an ankle sprain suffered Wednesday against New Orleans, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and confirmed by K.C.Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Carter averages 11.7 points on 53.7 percent shooting, plus 9.9 rebounds a game. However, his impact has been larger on the defensive end. Boylen wants to play an aggressive, trapping defense and Carter is the best Bulls big at that (and it’s not close).

Expect Thaddeus Young to start and Daniel Gafford to get more run until Carter returns.