The Chicago Bulls have started downsizing their roster before the regular season begins. On Monday, Chicago announced that Center Daniel Oturu and Guard Ethan Thompson would be released.
Bulls fans are unlikely to make up for the effects of a player’s absence.
Oturu, who turned 22 in September, played 34 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season.
He signed with the Bulls shortly before the start of the preseason in hopes of convincing Chicago to keep a third or fourth center (whichever you call Marko Simonovic). Unfortunately, Oturu played a total of six minutes for Chicago this preseason, collecting 4 points and 4 rebounds.
The booty for Thompson wasn’t much different. In 12 minutes of action he had 2 points and a rebound. The hope is that both players will move to Chicago’s G-League partner, the Windy City Bulls. If they perform well, they could be an option in the coming season if the bulls suffer injuries or even a COVID-19 situation.
Injuries and COVID-19 situations struck the Bulls during the 2020-21 season. The hope is that the entire team and coaching staff will stay as healthy as possible through the successful year most hoped for.
It seems that Tyler Cook is likely to be the next cop to be released, and Devon Dotson is likely to be returning to the G-League.
That being said, the squad spots are banned for guys like Simonovic, Ayo Dosunmu, Alize Johnson, Tony Bradley, and Derrick Jones Jr. Taken with these guys and added to a list that includes Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, Tony Bradley, Alex Caruso and Javonte Green, the Bulls should have 14 players on their roster.
That leaves room for one more, and it will likely depend on sniper Matt Thomas and defensive-minded Stanley Johnson. I covered this exact mystery in another article and it seems that the decision is coming very soon.
It’s Thomas’ shooting for me, but we’ll have to wait and see what Billy Donovan decides, probably after the last preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies on October 15th. The Bulls have plenty of small forwards already, but Johnson’s appeal is likely his ability to hold multiple positions.
It will be up to Donovan to decide if he thinks guys like Caruso, Bradley, Brown Jr., Alize Johnson, and Green will provide enough defensive presence for the second unit. I’d say they do, and keeping a marksman like Thomas might help a second unit that relies heavily on White and Caruso get a hit to get buckets.
Williams is expected to play in this game so we have a chance to see what the Bulls’ actual rotation might look like in the regular season.