Bulls Season Rewind 18-19: Chandler Hutchison
Taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft out of Boise State, forward Chandler Hutchison showed flashes of potential in his rookie season with the Bulls, which was abruptly cut short in late January by a broken toe. The injury came at a bad time for Hutchison, who was just beginning to get more minutes and get comfortable on an NBA court. He was averaging 9.4 points and 7 rebounds in the seven games prior to the injury, and was starting to showcase what made the Bulls so high on him coming into last year’s draft.
Hutchison projects as a small forward, and will now spend time learning from and playing with midseason acquisition Otto Porter Jr. Depending on how this summer’s draft and free agency shakes out, Hutchison and Porter look to make up the likely rotation at the 3 spot for the Bulls moving forward.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Hutchison’s truncated rookie year:
January 25, vs Clippers (LA Clippers 106, Bulls 101)
Hutchison Stat Line: 12 points (5-15 FG), 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Though Hutchison’s shot wasn’t falling from long range (he hit just one of his seven three-point attempts), his all-around game kept the Bulls in this one against a Western Conference playoff team on a nice run. Hutchison played a team-high 41 minutes and was a force on the boards from the forward spot, snatching up a career-high 12 in his first career double-double. Though the Bulls fell just short on this one, it was the kind of well-rounded game the team will look to expect from Chandler as he develops as a player.
Unfortunately, his best game of the season also turned out to be his final game of the season. Though this robbed Hutchison – and Bulls fans – of seeing him continue his improvement as a player, he left the fans with a glimpse of the future in this one.
November 3, vs Rockets (Houston 96, Chicago 88)
Hutchison Stat Line: 12 points (5-8 FG), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
In this early-season matchup against James Harden, Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets, Hutchison showed his potential as a competent swingman off the bench in just his 9th game as a pro. Not intimidated by the big moment, Hutchison ran the floor well and got his points efficiently while playing solid defense on the other end, holding a high-octane offense under 100 points. Though the Bulls (still playing without star Lauri Markkanen at this point of the season) didn’t get the win, Hutchison’s progress and lack of fear of the moment was promising.