Bulls Release Center and Guard to Trim Roster

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The Chicago Bulls have begun the process of trimming down their roster ahead of the start of the regular season. On Monday, Chicago announced it was releasing center Daniel Oturu and guard Ethan Thompson.

Bulls fan aren’t likely to fill the impact of any player’s absence.

Oturu and Thompson Failed to Turn Heads in the Preseason

Oturu, who just turned 22 in September, played 34 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

He’d signed with the Bulls just before the start of preseason in hopes of convincing Chicago to keep a third or fourth center (depending on what you consider Marko Simonovic). Unfortunately, Oturu played a grand total of six minutes for Chicago this preseason collecting 4 points and 4 rebounds.

The haul for Thompson wasn’t much different. In 12 minutes of action, he had 2 points and a rebound. The hope is that both players join Chicago’s G-League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls. If they perform well, they could be options during the upcoming season if the Bulls experience injuries or even a COVID-19 situation.

During the 2020-21 season, the Bulls were ravaged by injuries and COVID-19 situations. The hope is that the entire team and coaching staff remain as healthy as possible through what most are hoping turns out to be a successful year.

It Looks as If the 15th and Final Roster Spot Will Come Down to 2 Forwards

It appears Tyler Cook will likely be the next Bull released and Devon Dotson is likely going back to the G-League.

Besides them, the roster spots for guys like Simonovic, Ayo Dosunmu, Alize Johnson, Tony Bradley and Derrick Jones Jr. are a lock. With those guys included 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 come down to sharpshooter Matt Thomas and the defensive-minded Stanley Johnson. I covered this exact conundrum in another article, and it appears the decision is coming very soon.

It’s Thomas’ shooting for me, but we’ll have to wait to see what Billy Donovan decides, most likely after the final preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies on October 15. The Bulls already have a ton of small forwards, but Johnson’s appeal is likely to be his ability to defend multiple positions.

It’ll be up to Donovan to determine if he believes guys like Caruso, Bradley, Brown Jr., Alize Johnson and Green offer enough of a defensive presence from the second unit. I’d say they do and retaining a shooter like Thomas could help to provide a scoring punch for a second unit  that will lean heavily on White and Caruso to get buckets.

Williams is expected to play in that game so we’ll get an opportunity to see what the Bulls’ actual regular season rotation might look like.

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Jody McCulloh
Jody McCulloh
1 year ago

13 players. I believe you mentioned Tony B twice.