Chicago Bulls: Wendell Carter Jr., the man that can fly

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

He just turned 20 four months ago, but the potential that Chicago Bulls Wendell Carter Jr. has knows no limits. The Bulls saw what he could do last season before his season ended early due to thumb surgery.

Former Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis said that Carter takes pride in his game and has the ability to make a name for himself. “He’s a hard worker, puts the time in,” Portis told Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Heavy. “One thing about basketball guys, you put the time in and dedicate yourself to the game, you’re always going to rise to the top and I feel like he’s one of those guys.”

Just recently, Carter went on social media to express his frustration that the Bulls, “let this city down,” after winning just 22 games in the 2018-19 season.

In limited playing time in his rookie season, Carter scored 10 points a game, while averaging 7 rebounds and nearly 1.5 blocks a game. The Bulls can use his defensive capabilities to keep them in games.

Carter is 6-foot-10 and can serve as a center and power forward. As shown in the highlights, he is not afraid or intimidated by the best scorers in the NBA and a full season can establish him as a tough defender while adding a few points on the other end.

Defense is not as valued in today’s NBA but the passion he has for the game should make Carter Jr. an exception to the rule. Another positive trait about his game, albeit limited is his ability to make life difficult for the offense to get passes from one end of the court to the other to set up an easy layup.

Carter Jr. is expected to be ready to play once training camp starts and expect a motivated Carter to be hungry to prove himself. It is impossible to predict how well he would have done had he not missed the remaining 38 games, but Carter would have made a splash especially on the defensive end of the court.

He plays the game with grit, tenacity and is not afraid to even be on the other end of a poster dunk. Being on the defensive end of a poster dunk is something most defenders would rather not look back at over and over again but I get the sense that even if he gets dunked on viciously, that will not scare him from taking that risk many more times.

He will go through growing pains as any newcomer in the sport goes through, but I predict his resilience will make him a player that other teams take very seriously. Houston Texans linebacker JJ Watt said in a recent Gatorade commercial, find a rival who can take you down and that should make you strive to take your game to the next level.

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That advice applies in all sports but especially basketball because basketball is a contact sport. If the Chicago Bulls are to take a step forward, Carter will need to show his grit and tenacity because he is a cornerstone for the Bulls future.