The Chicago Bulls have announced their Las Vegas Summer League lineup as they begin a new era under head coach Fred Hoiberg, who comes to the Windy City after coaching the Iowa State Cyclones.
The 24-team league starts on July 10 and runs through July 20. The Bulls’ first-round draft pick, Bobby Portis, will get his first action in a Bulls uniform alongside Doug McDermott, Vander Blue and Diante Garrett. Other rookies on the roster include Cristiano Felicio from Brazil, Amere May from Delaware State, Roman Galloway from La Salle, Rayvonte Rice from Illinois, Tyrus McGee from Iowa State, Darrell Williams from Texas A&M, Cameron Bairstow from New Mexico and T.J. Price from Western Kentucky.
The most diehard of Chicago fans can watch the action in person through Hipmunk.com. Flights to and from Las Vegas can be booked in a few clicks, while looking through affordable Las Vegas hotel options starting from $20 a night to be the one-stop shop for the next destination basketball vacation.
The Bulls’ first game will be on July 11 when they battle the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Thomas & Mack Center, followed by a game against the Toronto Raptors the very next day at Cox Pavilion.
No player in the summer league will have fans clamoring for Chicago Bulls tickets months before the season starts, but Portis and McDermott are each capable of earning a valuable spot on the roster, thus making this slate of games somewhat important for Chicago’s immediate future. The Bulls are bringing back an almost identical roster to last season and are hoping for a full season of Derrick Rose. Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson will make up the frontcourt, with Jimmy Butler, Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy, Jr. and Tony Snell comprising the backcourt. Butler signed a five-year maximum deal with the Bulls during the free agency period.
Hoiberg had coached Iowa State since 2010 (and played with the Bulls from 1999-2003), the same year former coach Tom Thibodeau was hired by Chicago. Thibodeau was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2011, is the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 100 wins and won an NBA Championship as an assistant with the Boston Celtics in 2008. The Bulls never missed the playoffs under Thibodeau, nor did they ever finish with fewer than 45 wins.