He has a new number on his jersey and a new position in the starting lineup, but nothing has changed for Bulls rookie forward Patrick Williams.
“The people I guard are pretty much the same,’’ Williams said Wednesday. “Even when I was [at power forward], I was guarding some threes and some twos, so nothing really changes. In our offense, coach [Billy Donovan] does a really good job of making sure the wing positions are pretty much interchangeable.’’
In his first game with the new-look roster, Williams admittedly was just trying to find his way in the loss to the Spurs. The entire team was. He took seven shots, finishing with only six points. In the game Monday against the Warriors, however, he was much more aggressive, finishing with 14 points on 13 shots. It was the most shots he has taken since March 14, when he scored a career-high 23 points against the Raptors.
An All-Star center such as Nikola Vucevic is welcomed with open arms, but the on-court chemistry is still a work in progress.
“[Vucevic’s presence] just opens up driving lanes, not only for me but for the rest of guys,’’ Williams said. “He’s a three-point threat. And then also whenever we just need a bucket or need someone to get to the free-throw line, we can throw it down to him in the paint and let him go to work and play off him.
“And in the locker room, he’s a really good guy from what I know and what I can see now. He definitely fits our culture here. We’re all still figuring it out, but having a guy who can do everything on the court — pass, shoot threes, get dirty in the post — it just makes it easier for us.’’
And Williams made life easier for Vucevic, handing over his No. 9 jersey and switching to 44.
“Undisclosed,’’ Williams said of the amount Vucevic paid him for the switch. “I was going to give it to him for free. Even when I told him I was going to give it to him for free, he was like, ‘Nah, I just want to make sure you’re taken care of.’ That’s just the type of guy he is and speaks to the character that he has.’’
Donovan basically had no reaction to a Chandler Hutchison tweet in which the former Bulls forward wrote, “One man’s trash . . . . . #DCfamily.’’
Hutchison, who battled injuries since being picked 22nd overall in the 2018 draft, then sat most of this season for “personal reasons,’’ was traded last week and had 18 points in his first game with the Wizards. That’s when the tweet came out. He followed that performance with five points on 1-for-6 shooting a night later.
“Obviously, he was, I think, working through things on his own,’’ Donovan said. “I made several comments about really appreciating his honesty and his strength in what he was doing. But I always felt like Chandler and I had a good relationship, so I don’t know necessarily who maybe the tweet was directed at or if it was just an organizational thing. I’m not quite sure. But, anyway, it’s hard for me to comment on it because I just don’t know the context of what he was talking about.’’