The Chicago Bulls selected Paul Zipser in the second round with the 48th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The 22 year old initially played in the German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) from 2013-2016 for Bayern Munich. In 18 games over 3 seasons in the BBL, Zipser averaged just 5 points per game. However, in 2012 he played in the Albert Schweitzer Tournament and was on the All-Tournament team while 14.6 points per game, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Being a 2nd round pick, it was not very expected for the forward to make an impact during his rookie season in Chicago, however the 6'8 SF moved ahead of everyone on the depleted bench, including 1st round pick Denzel Valentine for the 6th man role. Zipser appeared in 10 out of the 15 games during the month of January, averaging 7.4 points off of the bench. Of those 10 games, Zipser scored in Double-Figures 4 times (10, 13, 14, 13) including his career high 14 points in a losing effort vs the Miami Heat on January 27th, 2017. In 19 games, the German is currently averaging 4.1 ppg, although his role was limited early on in the season.
As of late, Zipser has found himself playing substantial minutes, while occasionally closing out games alongside 'Key Players' Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade. Although he is only shooting 32% from the 3-point line, he has shown the ability to knock down the long ball and should see that number go up with more opportunities.
The Bulls organization, along with Head Coach Fred Hoiberg could not have anticipated that in February, their second round pick would be getting crucial minutes while their 14th overall selection, Denzel Valentine, would be racking up DNP-CD’s game after game. Zipser has continued to receive more minutes over the last 3 first round selections, in Doug McDermott, Bobby Portis (who is completely out of the rotation) along with Valentine.
The current front office has definitely had some struggles selecting impact talent through the draft (Marquis Teague, Doug McDermott, Tony Snell etc. as well as former second round selections, who have made little to absolutely zero impact, in Erik Murphy and Cameron Bairstow; However Zipser seems to have broken the mold so far from Gar Foreman and John Paxson’s waived/traded second round picks. While Valentine will spend the next 3 games with the D-League Affiliate Windy City Bulls, Zipser will continue to earn the trust of Hoiberg while playing over guys like Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott.
It is not really known what Paul Zipser will turn into in this league just yet, however through 19 games it appears the front office may have hit the nail on the head with this second round pick as Zipser has shown a great deal of potential and could very well turn into a key impact player and give Fred Hoiberg a scoring threat in the second unit.
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