3 Bulls who benefit the most from Derrick Jones Jr.’s departure

Torrey Craig, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Torrey Craig, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /
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Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls
Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

2. Andre Drummond

Although Jones Jr. is 5 inches shorter and 70 pounds lighter than Andre Drummond, the Bulls center is an interesting case here as a player who stands to benefit in the rotation despite fulfilling an entirely different role on the team. That’s due to how DJJ was often utilized as a small ball center last season, logging an estimated 10% of all his minutes played at the center position.

For the primary center off the bench, you can see how this may be a problem for Drummond. Andre played the fewest minutes per game of his career last season, even though he had a positive net rating of +3.2, led the league in rebounding percentage, and addressed one of Chicago’s greatest weaknesses on the boards.

Now that DJJ is gone, Andre Drummond looks to be the Bulls’ one and only center off the bench.

Based on the role each player was given, I actually expected Jones Jr. to opt in and Drummond to decline his player option, but the reverse is actually what took place. This leads me to believe Drummond may have been given some assurances regarding his role for next season by the front office or management.

Now that Marko Simonovic has been waived, that’s fine by me. Aside from Nikola Vucevic, Drummond is now the only player on the roster who can reasonably play center, small ball or not. This likely means Drummond will get every single minute at center whenever Vooch isn’t on the court, which will help boost his play time and hopefully his on-court impact from last season.