Chicago Bulls: 3 most underappreciated players from 2019-20 team

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls
Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

3. Wendell Carter Jr., Center

At the outset of the 2019-20 regular, the expectation was largely that the frontcourt pairing of Markkanen and former Duke Blue Devils second-year center Wendell Carter Jr. would be able to be the core part of this rebuild. In the midst of its third year, the rebuild started to unravel, and the lack of production from this frontcourt pairing at times this season was a large reason why.

But most of the blame of the lack of the effective play of the young frontcourt rotation of the Bulls should go on the shoulders of bigs like Markkanen, Luke Kornet, and Cristiano Felicio. Other bigs like former Arkansas Razorbacks rim-running rookie center Daniel Gafford and WCJ deserve more credit as to all that they can do for the team on both ends of the floor.

Gafford is an absolute rebounding and block machine. He can also throw down alley-oops with a ton of might. WCJ does have a much more versatile game than Gafford, though. He has a natural shooting and two-way skill set that is hard to find among big men with his size. WCJ is also known for having extremely high basketball IQ and off-ball awareness on both ends of the floor.

A season that could’ve seen a bit higher level of production out of WCJ was still decent in terms of per game stats and advanced metrics. He would have a much higher ceiling under a head coach that would make better use of his skill set than Jim Boylen.

In 43 games played during the 2019-20 campaign (all of which he started), WCJ averaged 11.3 points per game, 9.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks. He shot 53.4 percent from the field, 20.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 73.7 percent from the free-throw line.