The Bulls 2018 version of summer camp ended Saturday with the Bulls 72-66 loss to the Detroit Pistons in the playoff round of the Las Vegas Summer League.
It was a week of fun activities, and the kids will take with them their memories.
Like the way Wendell Carter Jr. almost mastered arts and crafts with the subtle artistry of his mature game and the crafty way even in a poor shooting game Saturday at one for eight he continued to help the team with his summer high 16 rebounds.
There was the continuing archery sessions for Antonio Blakeney, who again hit enough targets to lead the Bulls with 24 points and three of seven three pointers. Though Blakeney shot eight of 22.
There was Chandler Hutchison’s work on his basketball lanyard as he occasionally seemed to tie himself into a knot the way he searched for where he could excel. And, of course, Ryan Arcidiacono’s scavenger hunt as he regularly discovered openings to pass to teammates and Donte Ingram anxiously trying to hang on to that zip line to the NBA.
And now that’s it’s time to return home, perhaps a chance to ask for s’more on the way to training camp in September.
“Solid, I’d just say solid,” Carter answered in response to a question about his summer games. “We didn’t win the championship, so I’m not satisfied. This is the highest level, so I’m just grateful to be here. I am going to do what I have to do and play as hard as I can to try to win every game.”
The Bulls closed 2-3 with a poor shooting game, 32 percent overall and 10 of 33 on threes. They grabbed an early 18-point lead, but were overcome late and a closing rally came up short.
Since the summer features the best of the basketball kids, here’s a report card look at the Bulls Summer League team.
Wendell Carter Jr: He was one of the stars of the Summer League, something of a surprise as the No. 7 overall draft pick. He impressed team officials and scouts league wide with his sophisticated play while still teenager, his toughness and defensive instincts. ESPN commentators raved about his play. He averaged 15 points, 9.4 rebounds and almost three blocks per game. Grade: A
Chandler Hutchison: He improved as the week went on, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds. He was hesitant at times to shoot. He did show nice passing and rebounding instincts and when he had the ball on the fast break was impressive gaining ground. He had difficulty finishing and often didn’t go to the basket strong. Grade: C+
Antonio Blakeney: The quantity star of the team, Blakeney averaged a team most 21 points per game and 25 if his one poor game is eliminated. He continued to show an uncanny ability to get off shots and score, though often he isn’t efficient. He’s improved his passing, but doesn’t move much once he passes. He’s played well enough to be on an NBA roster. Grade: B
Ryan Arcidiacono: The overachiever from Villanova who seemed headed to Europe after being undrafted showed a consistent ability to run an offense. His defensive tenacity often frustrated more highly regarded players. He, too, looks like he should be on an NBA roster. He often showed a good shooting stroke, but too often passed up good shots to find a teammate. Grade: B
Donte Ingram: The local Chicago favorite from the Loyola tournament run worked hard, but he didn’t shoot well. He averaged about five rebounds with his hustle, but at times seemed a bit slow. He does look like he has a chance for one of the two-way contracts with the G-league. Grade: C-.
Among the reserves for the Bulls team, burly Jarnell Stokes scored nicely inside and Kaiser Gates showed some shooting touch. Melo Trimble also demonstrated some interesting guard skills.
So it’s another Duke player for the Bulls with the signing of the Bucks’ Jabari Parker. Duke’s Carter said he was pleased to see Parker as a teammate.
“Very excited,” Carter said after the game. “l knew they were flirting with him. Knowing Jabari, I knew it was something he was very excited to do; now that’s he’s a part off the team I’m very excited. He’s a great person off the court and I know that’s going to translate onto the court.”
That’s right, kids, lights out for now. Everyone can dream.