The Bulls Summer League team finally lost a game Saturday night, dropping an 80-61 decision to the Kings in the quarterfinals of the elimination round.
Bulls Summer League Player Evaluations
Tony Snell led the Bulls Summer League team with 20.0 points 6/14 shooting, including 3/6 from behind the arc. He finished the "season" as the fifth leading scorer in Vegas with 20 points per game. He wound up shooting 50% on 3-pointers for the five games, making 17/34 attempts. Snell also finished the five games with a .618 true shooting percentage.
Snell certainly showed much better ball-handling in Vegas, while also playing with much more confidence than he showed during the regular season last year. If he can continue to show this much improvement when training camp starts in October, he has an outside chance at earning a spot in the starting lineup this season.
Doug McDermott sat out this game with a very minor injury. He said before the game that it wasn't even a strain or a sprain, just a little bit of nagging soreness. It certainly sounded like nothing for Bulls fans to worry about over the next three months as they wait for camp to begin.
McDermott played fairly well for a rookie in his first (and almost certainly last) Bulls Summer League, averaging 18.0 points per game over four contests. He hit 12/27 three-pointers and showed almost unlimited range on his jumper. He also showed pretty good instincts on the defensive end, which is obviously important if you want to get any playing time for coach Thibs.
McDermott certainly needs to improve his ball-handling, but his shooting is a skill that the Bulls desperately need. I wouldn't expect him to be a starter as a rookie, but I have no doubt that he will get a decent amount of playing time as a rookie.
Cameron Bairstow finished the night with 8 points and 8 rebounds, but he struggled mightily against the length and athleticism of Kings' big men Eric Moreland and Alex Oriakhi. He had two of his shots blocked impressively, and he was beaten to a few loose balls that he seemed to be getting to in previous games.
That being said, I still fully expect Bairstow to make the Bulls opening night roster, though I'll be surprised if he gets any playing time early on. Not necessarily because he couldn't handle himself against NBA talent, but moreso because the Bulls already have the best and deepest front-court in the NBA with Noah, Gibson, Gasol and Mirotic.
Bairstow finished his stint with the Bulls Summer League team averaging 10.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in 26.2 minutes. He shot 53.1% from the field and 72.7% from the free throw line.
The only other member of the Bulls Summer League team to average double-figure points was Derrick Rose's high school teammate Lazeric Jones. After playing very poorly in the opening game, Jones looked much better in the last four and wound up averaging 10.8 points and 4.6 assists (6th highest in Vegas) for the week.
Though he probably doesn't have a real shot at making the team, I expect Jones will get an invitation to training camp if he hasn't signed with another team beforehand. He undoubtedly showed enough game to earn a contract with a good team in a top-flight European league.