Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Two Chicago Bulls Named In 2023 FIBA World Cup’s Top Ten Players


It’s the time of the year to start getting excited for Bulls basketball again. Their preseason slate will begin on October 8th, where they’ll visit the Milwaukee Bucks in a Sunday matchup. Recently inked by Chicago, Jevon Carter will make his first trip back to the Fiserv Forum, where he’s dawned the green and gold for his last two seasons. In the meantime, the NBA world has turned its attention to the 2023 FIBA World Cup, where the semifinal field was finalized earlier today, with Canada and Germany joining the United States and Serbia in the final four. Following the group stage, where each country had five or six games played, HoopsHype released its Global Ratings, a custom metric used to determine the effectiveness and performance of individual players in contributing to their team’s success. A few names may come as a shock, including two familiar faces from the Windy City.

Carlik Jones And Nikola Vucevic Crack Top Ten

Carlik Jones remains one of the biggest NBA mysteries. As the reigning G-League MVP and HoopsHype rated fourth-best player on the global scale during the 2023 FIBA World Cup, it’s a wonder why he’s only seen the floor 12 times across three seasons in the NBA. Averaging a World Cup eighth-best 20.4 points per game alongside a tournament-best 10.4 assists per game for his home country of South Sudan, one would think the 25-year-old point guard would have plenty of interest in the most competitive basketball league in the world, but it’s quite the opposite. He has only played over ten minutes three times in an NBA game, proving his lack of size and strength has been too much for his scoring and playmaking abilities to overcome. He’ll likely be one of the highest-level G-League players again during the 2023-24′ season.

Vucevic has continued to be a double-double machine for his home country of Montenegro and has put up some impressive scoring outings along the way. He’s averaged 19.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, good for the top ten globally in each category. The Bulls center also put up huge numbers against the United States, nearly leading a comeback upset victory.

The Last Dance” Volume II

Shifting gears to this upcoming NBA season, Bulls fans and players feel the rising pressure that the current nucleus of players has to perform. This core of LaVine, Vucevic, and DeRozan will enter their third entire season together, and LaVine and Vucevic will embark on their fourth year together with only one lone playoff victory to show for it, and never having made it out of the first round. Injuries plagued last season, starting with their point guard Lonzo Ball’s continued uphill rehab climb from several knee surgeries, continuing onto LaVine’s slow start due to lingering knee issues; it was a season to forget. Only three Chicago players could suit up for over 77 of the possible 82 games. Their starting center had underlying concerns when asked about this upcoming season’s implications.

While Chicago may not look much more exciting on paper than last season, their biggest issues have been solved, and the roster’s continuity cannot be overstated. Jevon Carter solved the biggest need for this team, which was the point guard position. He’s also an efficient three-point shooter and distributor and an above-average defender. Inking Coby White to the lucrative contract he received is a bode of confidence and a call to action for the 23-year-old. The starting guard position is for the taking, and his skills have noticeably improved each year he’s been in Chicago. More consistency from the trio of LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic alongside a point guard who can distribute to some of the NBA’s most elite scorers will smooth out many of the offense’s woes from a season ago.

The countdown has begun on another Chicago Bulls season, will this be “The Last Dance” for this group?

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