The Chicago Bulls made a flurry of deals at the NBA Trade Deadline. They’re still working things out with the new pieces, and the same can be said for the guys they shipped away. However, one of the ex-Bulls might have jumped the gun following a decent debut performance with his new team.
Chandler Hutchinson, who was traded along with Daniel Gafford from the Bulls to the Washington Wizards for Troy Brown Jr. and Moritz Wagner on March 25, made a splash in his DC debut.
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Hutchinson scored a season-high 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the field. He knocked down two of his three attempts beyond the arc and grabbed five rebounds in a 132-124 victory over the Indiana Pacers on March 29. Hutchinson was feeling himself after the game, and he decided to take to Twitter to dish a not-so-subtle shot at the Bulls for trading him.
In a now-deleted tweet, Hutchinson posted “One Man’s Trash… #DCFamily.” Unfortunately for Hutchinson, the good times didn’t last. Since his breakout performance, Hutchinson has only played in five of his team’s next eight games, garnering the DNP coach’s decision status in the others.
Over that span, Hutchinson has averaged 3.4 points per game on 26% shooting from the field. Things have been dreadful for him from three-point range where he has missed all seven attempts. In his Wizards debut, Hutchinson had a +12 plus/minus rating. He has failed to finish on the plus side of the metric since, and cumulatively, he’s at minus-41.
Naturally, NBA Twitter has come for him. Outspoken Chicago Sun-Times Bulls beat writer Joe Cowley flamed Hutchinson with this fact-based and shade-filled tweet:
Since Chandler Hutchison scored 18 with the Wizards and tweeted out “One man’s trash …” he’s had three DNPs and scored 5, 5, 0, 2, 5 in the five games he did get in. Washington is 3-0 when they don’t play him, 1-5 when they do.
— Joe Cowley (@JCowleyHoops) April 14, 2021
RockTheBabyRuss, a Wizards fan, gave his assessment of the two ex-Bulls his team acquired.
We absolutely fleeced the Bulls to get Daniel Gafford. They absolutely fleeced us giving us Chandler Hutchinson 😭😭
— J 🐳 (@RockTheBabyRuss) April 11, 2021
Amidst the backlash, Hutchinson hasn’t just deleted the tweet, he also deactivated his Twitter account.
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Hutchinson’s Biggest Issues
As has been the case since he came into the NBA at the start of the 2018-19 season, Hutchinson’s most significant deficiencies have been health and consistent outside shooting. He is a plus athlete with solid ball handling. He plays hard on defense and excels in transition.
However, his relatively limited reps (just 85 games in almost three seasons), which the pandemic has exacerbated, have hurt his development. Also, his shooting has never really come around. He’s made just under 29 percent of his threes for his career, which is an issue for a player who projects as a three-and-D wing or secondary ballhandler.
Until he consistently stays on the floor and improves his three-point accuracy, he will struggle to make his mark in the NBA.
The Bulls Should Be Thrilled With Their Side of the Trade
On the flip side, the Bulls may have come away from the deal with the Wizards, and subsequently, the Boston Celtics, feeling pretty good. Brown has consistently thrust himself into the team’s rotation with his hard-nosed defense, rebounding, off-ball cutting, and surprisingly consistent three-point shooting.
Brown has made 35% of his threes since arriving in Chicago.
He could stand to bump that up a little, but the potential is there. With just one DNP-coaches decision in nine games of action, Brown is averaging 5.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and he’s shooting just under 53% from the field. Perhaps most importantly, Brown has a +50 plus/minus with Chicago.
In the second part of the deal with the Wizards, the Bulls sent Wagner and reserve center Luke Kornet to the Boston Celtics for Daniel Theis and Javonte Green. While the latter has played sparingly–but provided a boost when he has come into the game–Theis has quickly become the team’s best interior defender and arguably the best overall defensive player.
Much of what Thies does doesn’t show up in a box score. Except for struggling to find his three-point stroke (just 22% from beyond the arc with the Bulls), Theis has checked just about every other box.
Theis is averaging 9.2 points per game with the Bulls, and that includes 15.5 over his last two contests and 4.8 rebounds as a reserve. The Bulls need Theis on the floor at the end of games, and the same can be said for Brown.
Brown and Theis could have easily and perhaps more appropriately used Hutchinson’s “trash” tweet to describe their situations.