Chicago Bulls: 3 underrated players ready to breakthrough in 2020-21

Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

2) Underrated Chicago Bulls ready to breakout

Wendell Carter Jr.. 2. player. Center. Age: 21. 24. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

Staying healthy will be key for the Bulls second-year 21-year-old 6-foot-9 and 270 pound former Duke Blue Devils center Wendell Carter Jr. this season. The Bulls seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft is about to enter the most critical year of his career to date. An extension could be in line for him next offseason if he does progress in a big way.

Just like Bulls fans expected out of power forward Lauri Markkanen last season, WCJ will be expected to take a sizable step forward in his third year in the NBA. In terms of the per game stats and advanced metrics, WCJ wasn’t able to improve much last season. But now with a new front office regime and coaching staff in place, the pieces should be in line for WCJ to make those strides this season.

During the shortened 2019-20 regular season, WCJ played in 43 games for the Bulls (all of which he started in). And he averaged 11.3 points per game, 9.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks. WCJ shot 53.4 percent from the field, 20.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 73.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Basketball-Reference projects WCJ to average 14.8 points per 36 minutes, to go along with 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.3 blocks, during the 2020-21 season. And he’s projected to shoot 52.5 percent from the field, 26.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 76.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Making strides in terms of his offensive versatility, having a more fine tuned responsibility down low on the defensive end, and keeping healthy, will be the keys above all else for WCJ this season.