As the Chicago Bulls gear up for their playoff run, they have recalled center Marko Simonovic.
Marko Simonovic’s G-League Dominance
Simonovic has dominated the G-League this year, averaging 17.0 PPG, 9.9 RPG, and 2.7 APG. Whether it was the pick and roll or flaring out to the three-point line, Simonovic had his way on offense. His size played a huge role in his success. He could make the mistake of putting the ball unnecessarily on the floor, and still recover.
Marko Simonovic’s Quiet NBA Career
When it comes to the NBA, Simonovic has a different story. He has been up to the big league a few times due to COVID-19 and injury issues. For the most part, he has just rode the bench. Simonovic has only appeared in nine games this season, seeing an average of 3.9 minutes per game. These minutes all came in garbage time during blow outs. His stat line is an underwhelming 1.9 PPG and 1.1 RPG. Unlike the G-League, Simonovic’s size is a non-factor when matched up against other 7-footers.
Expectations For Simonovic For The Rest Of The Year
With the G-League season coming to an end, Simonovic can still develop his game in practice. With Tristan Thompson now here, he can help develop Simonovic's skill set in a practice setting. It is safe to assume Simonovic will be in an emergency use player outside of garbage time. A few more good months in the G-League won't make him worthy of playoff minutes in the pick and roll.
The Chicago Bulls are poised for a playoff run, but there are projections that don't have them going deep. Blow outs could allow Simonovic time to play in a playoff environment and have something to build towards. Outside of that, Simonovic will have to get stronger to compete with the current NBA bigs. Having NBA level coaching, as well as a quality strength and conditioning staff around him, will help accelerate his growth for years to come.