Chicago Bulls: 3 players that deserve a bigger role next season

Coby White, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Coby White, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Daniel Gafford, Chicago Bulls
Daniel Gafford, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

3) Chicago Bulls who deserve bigger roles

Center. 24. Pick Analysis. 3. player. Scouting Report. Age: 22. Daniel Gafford

As his rookie season moved along, it just made so much sense to give the former Arkansas Razorbacks standout center Daniel Gafford more playing time in the frontcourt rotation. This 6-foot-10 and 235 pound El Dorado, AR, native and physically gifted big man was one of the more efficient young frontcourt rotation players in recent memory for the Bulls.

The Bulls really found a hidden gem with their 38th overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft, getting a steal in Gafford. He might wind up being one of the two or three biggest second round steals of the 2019 draft.

Gafford played in just shy of four dozen games as a rookie during the shortened 2019-20 regular season with the Bulls (seven of which he started in). And he averaged 5.1 points per game, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks. Gafford shot a very efficient 70.1 percent from the field (granted nearly all of his field goal attempts came from within six feet from the rim) and 53.3 percent from the free-throw line.

That all amounted to a stout 124 offensive rating/109 defensive rating, -1.3 box plus/minus rating, 0.1 value over replacement player rating, .146 win shares per 48 minutes, 1.9 total win shares, 68.6 true shooting percentage, and 16.2 player efficiency rating.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Gafford should get more playing time than the likes of center Luke Kornet, big man Cristiano Felicio, and/or power forward/center Noah Vonleh next season. He only played in 14.2 minutes per game as a rookie, and barring injury, that should really rise during the 2020-21 campaign.