Friday, April 19, 2024

Chicago’s Newest Sharpshooting Rookie Just Became An Overnight Sensation


After the Chicago Bulls opted to remain stagnant for a third consecutive NBA trade deadline, the only remaining options for roster alterations were their G-league farm team and the buyout market. While Joe Harris was the target of most intrigue and made the most sense, they ultimately chose to bring back Ryan Arcidiacono on a G-league contract and convert an existing Windy City Bulls player to an NBA contract for the remainder of the 2023-24 campaign. Initially, this news was met with further frustration from a fanbase that’s seen far too timid of a front office for the better part of four years in a row. After last night’s performance in his first game with over three minutes on the court, opinions might start changing about Arturas Karnisovas’s decision to add him to the roster.

Meet Onuralp Bitim

If the league didn’t know his name before last night’s double-overtime win against the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, they will now. Onuralp Bitim, the 24-year-old Turkish rookie, had possibly the year’s top performance for a Chicago Bull. In his first real action, Bitim finished with ten points off the bench, shooting 3-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point land. In 28 minutes, he had the team’s best plus/minus, had over twice as many minutes as any other bench player, and was the only perfect shooter from three-point land. Considering he was tossed into NBA action after just two appearances of three minutes each during trash time, his minutes last night were awe-inspiring.

Billy Donovan also noted that his experience overseas in the EuroCup and other professional leagues helped his poise and readiness tremendously. Bitim was named to the All-EuroCup Second Team in 2023 and played professionally in Europe for seven years before joining the Windy City Bulls. Immediately following Chicago’s historically bad three-point shooting night, where they were 2-for-29 against Detroit, his abilities beyond the arc could earn him meaningful minutes for the remainder of the season.

X-Factor Down The Stretch

This discovery and evolution of the G-league wing could not have been more well-timed for the Bulls. They are currently riddled with injuries, and their best three-point threat is struggling mightily. Coby White is 4-for-27 from deep over his last three contests, and having someone to alleviate that pressure will also help recalibrate his shooting performances. Ranking at the bottom of the league in three-point shooting each of the previous two seasons, the Bulls are willing to give rotational minutes to any threats from range, and Bitim is the latest example. Headed into the most brutal gauntlet on their schedule, consistently providing last night’s effort and versatility will mightily help Chicago’s chances.

Homage Advertisement

Don’t be surprised down the stretch of these must-win games in March and April if the hot-handed rookie sees more and more action as his comfortability and three-point sniping abilities continue to improve. With seven years of professional basketball experience under his belt at only 24 years of age, the pressure of being thrown on a struggling roster during the most intense stretch of the season cannot be overstated.

Can Bitim help lead the Bulls beyond the Play-In Tournament this year? Was last night simply a fluke game for the newcomer, or will this confidence radiate through the lineup and spark a steamroll into postseason play?


Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Feb 29, 2024 2:12 pm

You gotta get in the water to learn how to swim! Put him in and find out!

Chicago SportsNEWS
Recommended for you

Give us your thoughts.x