2009 Summer League Roster Breakdown - Chicago Bulls

Chicago_20bulls_medium 

Hey there Chicago Bulls fans!  Why do you look so down?  Oh Right, Ben Gordon.  Well he was short anyway, I guess....  But hey, look on the bright side, you have a pretty awesome Summer League Roster, chock-a-block full of former PAC-10 and ACC players!!!  Look how shiny and over-hyped they are.  In fact, Dick Vitale is in a buffet line somewhere screaming about this roster right now. YAAAHHH!  Let us also not forget Jon L's favorite player of all time, the one, the only, the incomparable Linton "Fuzzy" Johnson III

BULLS SUMMER-CAMP ROSTER (subject to change):

No.

Player

Pos

Ht | Wt

DOB

College/Country

Exp.

2

Bryan Mullins

G

6-2 | 190

01/13/87

Southern Illinois

R

3

Josh Shipp

G

6-5 | 215

02/14/86

UCLA

1

5

Anthony Roberson

G

6-2 | 180

02/14/83

Florida

4

6

Chris Davis

G

6-1 | 185

01/26/86

Southern

R

11

Taurean Green

G

6-0 | 185

11/28/85

Florida

3

14

Lorenzo Mata-Real

C/F

6-8 | 230

02/27/86

UCLA

R

16

James Johnson

F

6-8 | 245

02/20/87

Wake Forest

R

21

DeMarcus Nelson

G

6-4 | 200

11/02/85

Duke

1

22

Taj Gibson

F

6-9 | 225

06/24/85

USC

R

25

Julius Hodge

F/G

6-7 | 210

11/18/83

North Carolina State

4

32

Brandon Costner

F

6-9 | 230

07/21/87

North Carolina State

R

35

Tyrell Biggs

F

6-8 | 235

08/07/86

Pittsburgh

R

40

James Augustine

F/C

6-10 | 240

02/27/84

Illinois

2

42

Nick Lewis

F/C

6-11 | 240

04/20/83

San Diego

R

44

AD Vassallo

F/G

6-6 | 215

04/21/86

Virginia Tech

R

50

Luke Zeller

C

6-11 | 240

04/07/87

Notre Dame

R

54

Linton Johnson III

F

6-8 | 205

06/13/80

Tulane

6

This is a good looking mix of young and experienced players, filling out just about every position nicely.  Although I will say that this roster makes me think the Bulls are gunning for a Shooting Guard and a Forward given the number of bodies between the heights of 6'5" and 6'8" range. 

Another note: Your head coach Vinny Del Negro is so committed to his craft that he has stepped in to coach this Summer League squad himself.  Just to get in some extra reps!!  Now that's dedication.

And a big shout out to Nick Nurse, who is a D-League guy and will be an assistant on the Bulls SL team this year.  Knock ‘em dead Nick.

Jump - Let the knowledge wash over you like a wet blanket.

(Once again, if your eyes tire please click the player's name for some youtubage).

Bryan Mullins - No this is not BJ (though I thought that too at first).  Rather Bryan Mullins is the little gunner from SIU.  This 6'1" Point guard appears to be your typical Mid-Major prospect.  He's scrappy, quick, and takes good care of the ball.  Mullins is a steady floor leader who looks to pass the ball and score within the flow of the offense.  He averaged 10 pts a game his senior year, which unfortunately was cut short by a foot injury.  I expect Mullins to play a scrappy, tough style of ball, but in the end he may be best served by some time in the D-League. BONUS: If you're ever on the Fairmont Ave Arts Crawl, be prepard for Folk music.

Josh Shipp - After a somewhat inconsistent career at UCLA, Shipp has an opportunity to prove that the success he enjoyed at the collegiate level was not based upon the superior talents around him.  The thing Shipp most has going for him is his size and general physicality.  The 6'5" 220 lb guard plays a solid, if unspectacular, game rooted in smart defense and his shooting touch.  I'd say the story on Shipp is that he is good at everything but great at nothing.  If he really works to hone his outside shooting and defensive abilities I think he can be a bench player somewhere in the League. Plus he gives advice to people.

Anthony Roberson - Having been in the league for a four years now, you would have expected Roberson's game to have developed beyond what he showed in his first year with Memphis and while he played at Florida.  But alas, Anthony's game still relies on his outside jumpshot and lackadaisical defense.  Roberson played in last year's summer league, leading the Knicks squad with impressive scoring bursts and quickness getting to the bucket.  His scoring prowess is great, but as a true PG Roberson is lacking, as he rarely seems to set up his teammates.  He's under contract with the Bulls, but this may be yet another short stay for Roberson.

Chris Davis - Why have only one unknown PG on the roster when you can have two?  Oh hello Chris Davis from Southern University.  Having played four years in a small conference and on a team that didn't do a lot of winning, it's hard to know why Chris Davis was picked up for the Summer League.  Frankly, I don't know much about him and his numbers seem pretty vanilla, so I'm guessing he doesn't get much burn next week, unless it's fromDeath Sauce.

Taurean Green - As a member of those great Florida Gator teams that won back-to-back Championships, Green played the role of "shooter-who-stays-out-of-Horford-and-Noah's-way".  Thusfar in his NBA career, Green has yet to really sink into that same role in a regular way.  He has the shooting touch and athleticism to be a decent PG in the league but is by no means an elite playmaker.  Still, Green has gotten a little PT in the  D-League last season and has spent some time overseas, so he may be ready to take a step forward in his play this summer. Bonus: They need to pick a new rookie hazing song, it's played out.

Lorenzo Mata-Real - How long was this guy at UCLA?  It feels like he played on the last Wooden NCAA championship team.  Anyway, he is also one of the ugliest people I have ever seen not exactly a model.  Sorry Lorenzo.  That was mean, you've got some skill.  This past season Mata-Real played for the Mexican team Halcones de Xalap, which using my intellect I've determined means Hawks of Xalap.  So Mata-Real played for the Mexican Hawks and is now on the Bulls Summer League Roster.  Absolutely worldwind.  Mata-Real's game is less than inspiring.  He did a couple things well at UCLA, including rebounding and defense, but his offensive game is so rough it's hard to see him as a legit NBA player.  Unless Mata-Real found a jumpshot in the gyms in Mexico, I don't see him in the League.

James Johnson - He was the 16th pick in this year's draft, and only 2% of you on NBA.com think he's going to be the best player in the summer league.  In short, Johnson is off to a great start.  Having watched a lot fo ACC basketeball I can tell you that despite all of the red flags about his work ethic and attitude, Johnson is a real player.  He is also a really unpolished player.  But he rebounds at a high rate, he has a smooth, albeit inconsistent jumpshot, and James is an excellent athlete.  In short, I think Bulls fans should be pleased with this selection and hopefully he gets it going early and often in the Summer League.

DeMarcus Nelson - Another ACC guy, this time from Duke, Nelson is a strong combo guard with a freakish wingspan and huge, huge guns.  He went undrafted last season but quickly proved himself worthy for the Golden State Warriors in the preseason, latching on and starting at PG on opening day.  DeMarcus was then cut by the Warriors mid-season and finally signed on with the Austin Toros.  We covered Demarcus a fair amount at RU, as he really saw an uptick in his scoring, assist, and rebounding numbers in the D-League.  Nelson's place in the NBA will be as a defensive minded PG, and while his jumpshot is inconsistent, he can score at the rim and distribute at an average level in the NBA.  I think he'd be a nice complement off the bench for D Rose next season for the Bulls.

Taj Gibson - Taj was picked 26th in this year's draft, but then you already knew that.  Gibson is a tough player, he has a nice 15 foot jumpshot and rebounds at a high rate.  The only downside for Gibson is that he is on the thin side and not extrodinarily athletic.  While he is a seemingly good offensive player, he has never quite shown the level of consistency in his game that one looks for in a future NBA player.  Gibson is also already 24 years old, which doesn't bode well for him filling out his wiry frame and adding much more to his game.

Julius Hodge - I know there is a lot of talk about tough players in the NBA, but Julius Hodge is the toughest guy I've heard of.  First of all he grew up in Harlem, which is no small feat.  The  in college he seemed to catch nutshots often, especially from Chris Paul.  And then while playing for the Denver Nuggets, Hodge was shot several times on the freeway, nearly bleeding to death.  And yet.....here is Julius Hodge, back from rehabilitating his wounds and ready to ball.  I hope he does well.  Despite being rail thin, Hodge possess good athletic ability and is a heady, crafty player.  While Julius has never really stuck in the NBA, he has the skills and size to make it work, here's hoping he gets that shot.

Brandon Costner - As awesome and tough as Julius Hodge is, his NC State running mate (well not quite) Brandon Costner is not either of those things.  After his Freshman year at State, Costner was considered a possible 1st round draft choice, but his subsequent years at State were nothing but inconsistent.  Costner is the classic "tweener".  Not really a 3 not really a 4, but something in between and hideous.  Costner does a lot of things well on the court, his jumpshot mechanics are good, if not the shots themselves.  I think Costner is just not athletic or skilled enough to be a longer term NBA prospect.  But he should see some time in the D-League and eventually make his living overseas.

Tyrell Biggs - Biggs is yet another forward in the 800 forwards that played at Pitt last season.  Seriously didn't they like at least half their roster filled with versitile guys between 6'6" and 6'9"?  Well Biggs was one of them.  And a fairly important one at that.  Tyrell started the entire season for Pitt and average decent numbers (6pts and 5rbds a game), but essentially played as a role player.  It's hard to know exactly what Biggs does well because if his reduced role in college, but he just seems to scream "intangibles guy."  I'm not sure if being a role player on a really good college team will translate to being a role player on an NBA squad, but this is Tyrell's week to prove it.  Biggs also won a gold medal in boxing at the 1984 Olympics.

James Augustine - After being drafted by Orlando in 2006, James Augustine pretty much sat the bench for two years before being let go to play in Europe last season.  Scott Schroeder really let into Otis Smith for letting Augustine go  (and for never using the D-League), but since that time James has honed his craft overseas.  The scouting report on Augustine is that he is the ideal PF in the NBA, he has great size, strength, skill, and athleticism, but is simply lacking in mental fortitude and concentration.  His rap is one of a guy who is fairly talented, but will not try to dominate, even against lesser competition.  Despite this limitation, he has the skill set and abilities you would want from a PF, and I think he maybe worth that chance if you're looking to plug holes in your frontline.

Nick Lewis - He has been around in the D-League for a few years, and while he's put up solid numbers, I wouldn't descrive him as an impact player.  Basically Nick Lewis is a lunchpail guy.  He'll do the dirty work, rebound, stick-backs etc... but don't expect him to put up a quick 10 points.  Nick's defense is also questionable.  We'll see if he makes an impression in Summer League, but I doubt it.

AD Vassallo - All you need to know about Vassallo is that he played at Virginia Tech, he loves Dr. Pepper, and he has a little Marcus Williams in himNot in the so-so PG kind of way.  As a player, Vassallo has gotten steadily better each season at VT and his scoring numbers are really solid.  Vassallo has a very versitile offensive game, with his most productive aspect being his outside shooting.  Vassallo is also an good athlete who possess some quickness on the perimeter.  But generally AD's bread and butter in the NBA will be his shooting touch.  I'd say he could carve out a Mike Miller niche in the league if he's lucky.

Luke Zeller - Zeller is a little known big man out of Notre Dame, who made this roster mainly because Josh Heytvelt missed his flight.  Zeller's numbers at Notre Dame are pretty underwhelming, with a whopping 5 pts and 2.8 rbnds per game.  Zeller is fairly mobile and has his height and length going for him.  To me he doesn't look like an NBA prospect, so we'll see if even gets much burn next week.

Linton Johnson III - This veteran forward out of Tulane is a hustling wing player who specializes in defense, with limited offensive potential.  To be honest I'm not sure why he's here, probably they want to see how he compares to theo other players the Bulls pulled off the crap heap in the off-season.  Since I know what he can do, and you know what he can do, let's simply skip talking about him and watch this:

 

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