Bulls Season Rewind 17-18: Noah Vonleh

Noah Vonleh 17-18 Season Averages:

Big man Noah Vonleh came over to the Bulls in February in a trade deadline deal that saw the Bulls bring over Vonleh and cash considerations from the Portland Trail Blazers, who were over the cap and needed to shed salary. Vonleh, playing in the final year of his rookie contract, is an athletic forward with NBA skills, a former lottery pick who has to this point struggled to find consistency in the NBA. The Bulls are his third NBA team in four seasons, but down the stretch of this season, he was given the opportunity to play as the Bulls took the opportunity to take a close look at his game.

Bulls fans were encouraged by what they saw. Vonleh was a big body with a high motor, a strong rebounder and post presence who showed somewhat surprising basketball skill: a solid dribble and crossover, a decent touch from long range for a big man and a nose for the ball off the glass. Though the end of his season was cut a few games short with a calf injury, he belonged on the court in 21 games with the Bulls. With Vonleh a free agent this summer, Bulls fans will no doubt keep an eye on what happens with him this summer.

For now, let’s take a look at some of his best moments in his short stint in Chicago:

AT Miami Heat, March 29 (Heat 103, Bulls 92)

The Bulls played incredibly shorthanded in this game, missing an array of players including Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Cristiano Felicio and others. As such, Vonleh got the starting nod and played a season-high 32 minutes in this one. Though the Bulls ultimately fell to Miami they stayed in the game throughout with a balanced effort from the guys who did play. Six players scored in double figures, with Vonleh second on the team in scoring with 14 points, and the big man out of Indiana showed his versatility with a big double double.

Vonleh Stat Line: 14 points (5-12 FG), 1-4 3PT, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist

VS Denver Nuggets, March 21 (Nuggets 135, Bulls 102)

Yikes. No Bulls fan really wants to remember this game – the desperate Nuggets absolutely needed a victory down the stretch as they attempted a playoff run (ultimately falling short on the final night of the season) and the banged-up Bulls just didn’t have it, causing this game to be a blowout loss from start to finish. On a night where it seemed the Bulls couldn’t do anything right, one of the only brith spots was Vonleh’s play off the bench. In just 23 minutes, Vonleh hit 4-of-6 triples, showing a shooting touch many fans didn’t know he possessed, on top of his usual effort on the defensive boards. In a game that felt over within the first few minutes, Vonleh’s play stands out as the one positive takeaway.

Vonleh Stat Line: 14 points (5-8 FG), 4-6 3PT, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal