Chicago Bulls: Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. should be a day one starter

(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Chicago Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. had an impressive preseason, so should he be one of the starters on opening night?

Chicago Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. is only 19-years-old, but he’s ready for the big stage.

Since the Bulls drafted him June, Wendell has shown that he has a lot of potential. He dominated in the Summer League, and he showed in the preseason what he can bring to the table.

In the first three preseason games, Wendell came off the bench. Before their fourth preseason game, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg decided to change things up as he started Bobby Portis and Wendell Carter Jr. over Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez.

In the fourth and fifth preseason game, Wendell and Bobby gave the rest of the starting unit energy. The Bulls looked like a different team with Wendell and Bobby on the court together. They played faster and were more active on both sides off the court.

In the five preseason games, the rookie averaged 7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game. I thought Wendell played with a lot of confidence. He didn’t score a lot of points, but he made an impact on other parts of the game.

Robin Lopez is 30-years-old and is currently in his 11th season in the NBA. Lopez is entering his final year of his contract, and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Bulls had a chance to trade Lopez last season, but they didn’t like what was offered to them. No matter what I don’t see Lopez playing for the Bulls next season. It’s time to play the players that will be here long term.

Wendell fits better with this current starting unit.

The Bulls starting unit likes to play fast, and Wendell plays a faster game than Lopez. Wendell is also a better defender than Lopez, and is a bigger threat on the offensive side. Wendell can guard multiple positions, while Lopez can only guard the center position.

Fred Hoiberg wants to play with pace and Wendell is better suited for that kind of style than Lopez.

Robin Lopez is a good player, but even a better person. Lopez didn’t complain last season when Hoiberg decided to bench him because the team wanted to get a higher draft pick. I personally believe that Lopez would be a better fit with the second unit. I like him playing alongside Jabari Parker and Chandler Hutchison.

The thing that I love the most about Wendell is that he’s a player that doesn’t care about how many points he scores a night. Wendell’s number one priority is to try to win each and every game. He has a phenomenal work ethic, and he’s willing to do anything it takes to help his team win.

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Wendell Carter Jr. deserves to be a starter from day one because he’s the best center on the team, and he’s a better fit with this starting unit. Starting the rookie against the 76ers will help this team long term.

Wendell Carter Jr. is part of the Bulls future, and he should start at the center position over a guy that won’t be here next season. He’s only 19-years-old, but he’s more than ready to show the NBA world why he was a first round pick.