Chicago Bulls: Bold predictions for Wendell Carter Jr. in 2018-2019

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Wendell Carter Jr. Chicago Bulls
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Bold Prediction No. 1

Carter will finish the season top-10 in the NBA in blocked shots

Heading into the 2018 NBA Draft, everybody was talking about Mohamed Bamba coming out of Texas. If you were within the top 10 picks, you had your eyes on him. If you wanted a defensive showstopper at the center position, Bamba was indeed your guy.

Even as a Bulls fan, myself, I was in love with the idea of going after Bamba. When the Bulls ended up snagging Carter, my initial thought was: “Alright, we landed the second-best big man we could have picked at this spot.”

Related Story. 3 reasons Bulls will make the playoffs in 2018-2019. light

There was no way the Bulls would have been able to get Deandre Ayton or Marvin Bagley III. There was a slight possibility of Jaren Jackson Jr. falling to them, but even that was a bit of a stretch. The point is, Carter was the most likely pick for the Bulls — and he could end up being the best of them all.

People overlooked just how good Carter was defensively at Duke. Most likely it was because he played in the shadow of Bagley, and that’s understandable. But, Carter was the best defensive player on that team, period.

He could easily end up in the top-10 in blocked shots this season, even as a rookie. Last year at Duke, he posted 2.1 blocks per game in 26.9 minutes. Now, I understand this is college versus the pros. But, if Carter put up that number in the NBA last year, he would have finished tied for fourth with Hassan Whiteside.

Carter’s game is an inside-out game. He is a player who translates defense into offense. His focus is first on defense, which was ever present in his NBA Summer League action last month. If he gets anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes per game as a rookie, I fully expect him to be one of the best shot blockers in the game.