Bulls: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from 2023 NBA Summer League

Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Summer League (Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Summer League (Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 3
Julian Phillips, Chicago Bulls
Julian Phillips, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

The Bad: The rookies have shown promise, but aren’t NBA ready

Let me start this off by saying one thing, for a second-round pick and an undrafted free agent, I am thoroughly impressed with what we’ve seen from Julian Phillips and Adama Sanogo thus far. I believe there’s real potential here with each player, and the Bulls would be wise to keep them in the system to see how they develop for the time being.

Phillips looked particularly impressive against the Kings, where he chipped in 16 points and 4 rebounds while drilling all three of his long-range attempts. Meanwhile, Sanogo put on a show in that same game, posting 15 points, 9 rebounds (5 of which came on the offensive glass!), and a pair of steals and blocks each.

Despite how good this duo looked against Sacramento, they weren’t able to uphold it throughout the entirety of Summer League action like the aforementioned Freeman-Liberty did. In the very next game against Cleveland, Phillips shot 0-for-4 from deep while contributing only 2 rebounds and 0 assists in 26 minutes on the court. Sanogo, on the other hand, was rendered ineffective by the Raptors in a game where he shot 2-for-8 from the field and the lowest plus/minus of any Bulls player at -10.

There’s a lot here to be optimistic about with Phillips and Sanogo, but the Bulls can’t afford that level of inconsistency on the main roster right now. And due to how this team has been constructed thus far, the depth chart seems to indicate Phillips and perhaps even Sanogo will get a solid amount of run this year. That is not a good sign.