Bulls eyeing trade for Bucks' Carter-Williams
Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg will get an October surprise in the form of a new player joining a crowded roster.
According to numerous reports, the Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to swap Tony Snell for 6-6 guard Michael Carter-Williams. Barring a snag, the deal should become official on Monday.
This is essentially a trade of disappointing players. Snell, the Bulls' first-round pick in 2013, was given several chances to snag a spot in the rotation and didn't deliver. He opened last season as the starter at small forward and ended up averaging 5.3 points while shooting 37.2 percent from the field.
Snell's a decent defender, able to use his long arms to challenge shots, but with his thin frame, he doesn't do well when the game gets physical. The Bucks are looking for someone who can fill in for shooting guard Khris Middleton, who is expected to miss most of the season with a torn hamstring.
Carter-Williams was the NBA rookie of the year in 2013-14 while playing for Philadelphia. He was traded to Milwaukee midway through his second season, with the Bucks sending point guard Brandon Knight to Phoenix in the three-team deal.
In his first full season with the Bucks, Carter-Williams averaged 11.5 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds. He's considered a good defender, but outside shooting is not a strength. He's connected on just 25.5 percent of his 3-point shots during three years in the NBA. The former Syracuse star did shoot 45 percent overall last season.
Carter-Williams gave the Bulls some problems in the 2015 first-round playoff series, which seemed to give the Bulls a desire to add a tall point guard of their own. They picked up 6-6 Spencer Dinwiddie from Detroit this summer and he's played well in preseason.
With the Bulls, Carter-Williams figures to back up Rajon Rondo at point guard, although it's not clear what that means for Dinwiddie or Jerian Grant, who were battling for that spot. Isaiah Canaan, who scored 25 points in the Bulls' 107-86 preseason win at Milwaukee on Saturday, figures to get playing time at both guard positions.
Snell suffered a sprained left ankle in practice last Monday and didn't play in the Bulls' two games this weekend. Carter-Williams also did not play against the Bulls on Saturday.
It's not clear if Carter-Williams will take the floor when the Bulls play their final home preseason game Monday against Charlotte. Hoiberg is expected to use most of his regular lineup in this one. Jimmy Butler sat out both games this weekend, while Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Taj Gibson didn't play against the Bucks.
The Bulls are hoping rookie Denzel Valentine, who sprained his ankle in the preseason opener, will be ready to play. They'll finish the preseason Thursday against Atlanta in Omaha, Neb., which should feature a crowd-pleasing matchup between former Creighton stars Doug McDermott and Kyle Korver.
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