In stark contrast to what’s currently happening with the club, the Chicago Bulls‘ summer-league run was chock-full of moments that left fans feeling soft and fuzzy about the team’s future. The offensive exploits of young big man Marko Simonovic, in particular, were enticing for a segment of Bulls Nation.
The 23-year-old dropped 27 points and 13 rebounds during Chicago’s Las Vegas league opener. Then, as the Bulls were closing out their slate eight days later, he put up 26 on 11-of-15 shooting with eight boards.
Despite that — and some nice games in the G League with the Windy City Bulls — Chicago has yet to really give Simonovic a real shot to contribute with the main club, even as he’s been recalled to the NBA level multiple times this season.
So, when the big-league Bulls announced earlier this week that he had made another return trip to the Association, Simonovic’s cheering section took to the opportunity to blast head coach Billy Donovan for failing to integrate the Montenegrin pivot.
Bulls Twitter on the Attack Over Marko Simonovic’s Treatment
The Bulls officially announced their latest move to recall Simonovic, who’s averaged 13.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per outing with Windy City in 2022-23, on Friday morning. And, in short order, Bulls Twitter was (loudly) sounding off on the move.
“Yeah! Let’s just keep sending him to the [G League] back and forth without giving him a real shot to see what he’s all about,” lamented one fan. “I just hope someone else cares and [trades] for him as we once again miserably see him grow and actually play in NBA.”
For the record, Simonovic has seen the court in just one game with the big Bulls this year — a blowout loss to Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 22 (Chicago’s third game of the season). And he played all of two minutes in that game. Clearly, fans would have liked to have seen more of him.
“He’s the fourth-string center, yet he’s the fifth center option. Play him, please,” read a second comment.
“I swear to God if he gets put back to the Windy City Bulls I’m going to lose my mind,” a third fan promised.
“We got to develop this kid more. He has great potential,” opined another tweeter.
Does Simonovic Deserve to Be on the Floor?
Simonovic not being utilized by Donovan is hardly a new thing. Last season, even when the team was being thrashed by a league-wide outbreak of COVID-19’s Omicron variant — and half the roster was in health and safety protocols — Simonovic continued to ride the pine.
However, there are people around the league who believe he should be getting some run at this point.
“Absolutely, he should be on the floor,” an Eastern Conference GM told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney last month. “It is a tough thing to manage, they want to win games now, they have some older guys who are not going to have much of a window. And Marko is still raw in a lot of ways, but he runs hard, he hustles, other guys feed off that.”