The Chicago Bulls may be closing in on their first major addition to the 2021-22 roster.
Bulls Apparently on the Cusp of Signing Marko Simonovic
On Tuesday, Misko Raznatovic, the agent for Bulls 2021 draftee Marko Simonovic announced on his Instagram account he and his client on their way to Chicago for business. The caption read: “one-way ticket to Chicago.”
The Bulls selected Simonovic with the 44th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The organization knew Simonovic wouldn’t be available for this past season, but the hopes was that he would come over for the 2021-22 campaign, and that appears to be coming to fruition.
Marko Simonovic’s Scouting Report
Many Bulls fans may not be familiar with Simonovic and what his skill set contains. NBA.com’s Carl Berman and Simeon Marinov collaborated to deliver a pretty detailed scouting report on the Montenegrin.
Here is a look at a breakdown of Simonovic’s offensive skills.
Offensive Scouting Report
Standing at 6-foot-11, Simonovic has good size for a center to go along with length and athleticism. Light on his feet, he runs the floor hard. His body is still developing which is characteristic of players at such a young age. He has the ability to stretch the floor, hitting threes off the catch, primarily off pick and pop actions. He demonstrates a solid shooting stroke from outside for his position and size. Has the potential to become a constant pick and roll threat at the next level thanks to his length, mobility and good sense of setting screens. Within the paint he is more of a crashing-the-boards type of scorer, putting back teammates’ misses, than a skilled low post player at this point. He has a lot of room to get more consistent in the post, improving his touch and working on his moves close to the basket, but consistency should come along with his frame improvement.
One of the first things that jump out when you watch Simonovic is his mobility. He moves really well for a player near 7-feet tall. He’s primarily a perimeter scorer, but this ability to explode to attack closeouts is promising.
Defensive Scouting Report
An important key for improving his overall defensive performance on the court would be filling out his frame by adding strength to his upper body and gaining muscle. This would allow him to more effectively guard in the post and finish more effective through contact on the other end of the floor. He might be a liability in defensive mismatches against quicker perimeter players due to his average lateral quickness, but he could compensate it with his length, good awareness and shot blocking ability. He’s a solid rim protector, but doesn’t seem to have a big vertical pop, which might hurt his stock in a fast-paced game.
Take a look at this 28-point, 13-rebound performance from Simonovic vs. Borac in ABA Liga play this past season.
The Fit on the Bulls Roster
The best cast scenario is Simonovic turns into the kind of power forward that Chicago hoped Lauri Markkanen would become. There are some definite similarities.
Like Markkanen, Simonovic needs to get stronger and develop a little more depth to his low-post game. However, he is a long athletic, stretch-big who seems a little tougher than Markkanen, which should give him at least a slight edge with the current Bulls coaching staff.
Chances are, Simonovic won’t be ready to contribute on a major level early in the season, but it would be ideal if he has worked his way into the starting lineup alongside the Bulls’ new point guard, Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic at some point next season.
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