Windy City Bulls filled with new faces heading into home opener

The Windy City Bulls made plenty of roster changes heading into Year No. 7 in Hoffman Estates.

But since the team opened the season with three road games, there shouldn't be many surprises this weekend when the Bulls host the Cleveland Charge on Saturday and Sunday at Now Arena.

The only returning players who appeared in more than five games last season are forwards Henri Drell and Ben Coupet. Last year's G-League MVP Carlik Jones is reportedly playing in China after getting cut by the NBA Bulls at the end of preseason.

Windy City went 2-1 in its first three games, and early returns suggests this team will be balanced, since six players are averaging between 12.3 and 17.7 points.

The leading scorer at the moment is Max Heidegger, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard who played at Cal-Santa Barbara, then in Israel, Germany, Turkey and Spain. His father, Klaus, was a competitive alpine skier from Austria.

Another player with an interesting story is 5-9 guard Chris Clemons. He led the nation in scoring at 30.1 points a game as a senior at Campbell in 2018-19, then appeared in 33 games for the Houston Rockets in 2019-20, even getting a few playoff minutes in the bubble. He's played in the G-League since then and was traded to Windy City last year.

Drell, a 6-9 forward from Estonia, is averaging 15 points and 10.5 rebounds so far. He was joined by a familiar face when the Bulls signed Turkish shooting guard Onuralp Bitim to a two-way deal. Bitim has averaged 14 points in three games.

"Yeah, I knew him (in Europe)," Drell said. "We played against each other when we were kids on Under-18, Under-16. He's my guy."

Center Adama Sanogo was the top scorer on Connecticut's NCAA championship team last year, wasn't drafted and signed a two-way deal with the Bulls. He's off to a fast start, averaging 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. The Bulls' third two-way player is former Marquette forward Justin Lewis, who missed last season due to a torn ACL.

Six-foot-5 guard Quenton Jackson had some nice moments with the NBA Bulls during preseason. He erupted for 22 points in Monday's Windy City win at Indiana.

Another player of note is veteran power forward Derrick Favors, 32, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He's averaged 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds so far.

Bulls second-year forward Dalen Terry suited up for Windy City on opening night but played just nine minutes due to a sore knee.

Naperville North grad Henry Domercant begins his third season as Windy City's coach.

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