Bulls Put Snell’s Versatility on Display in Las Vegas

The rookie from New Mexico found himself guarding power forwards and centers in the Bulls matchup with the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday

Tony Snell 1
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At 6-7 and 200 pounds, Tony Snell’s versatility is one of the reasons the Chicago Bulls selected him with the 20th overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft. On Tuesday night against the Portland Trailblazers in the summer league, Snell’s versatility was on full display.

Shorthanded due to injures, Tom Thibodeau assistant Adrian Griffin, the head coach of Chicago’s summer league squad, played Snell all over the floor, matching him up at times with power forwards and centers. And even though he more than held his own against the likes of Thomas Robinson and former University of Illinois big man Meyers Leonard, Snell doesn’t feel he’s quite where he needs to be physically to play against guys at that position.

At least not yet anyway.

“I feel I’m a shooting guard,” Snell told Bulls.com. “I can play both the shooting guard and small forward. But I feel I’m more a shooting guard for now until I get bigger and stronger and then can see myself playing the three spot, too.”

Griffin was impressed with what he saw from the rookie, especially being thrown into an unfamiliar situation because the Bulls had a number of guys injured.

“He had his hands full tonight and I did not see him back down,” said Griffin. “[Thomas] Robinson had 50 pounds on him and was trying to run him over. Snell stuck in there and did a terrific job. He was giving up a lot of weight, but he was boxing out, taking charges. To see him compete like that we feel very good about Tony.”

Snell, like most rookies, is still getting adjusted to the style of play in the NBA, but he understands where his strengths lie and he knows what skills he can rely on at the outset to help the Bulls until he becomes more familiar with the pro game and his new superstar teammate, Derrick Rose, which he is definitely excited about.

“It’s a new league (for me). Everyone is legit good. So just getting used to running up and down the court and getting used to the offense and defense, the feel of the game. I feel I fit in pretty well. I use my length to help with defense, help my teammates with the offense too because I move around. I’m a good three-point shooter. So when they’re driving I’ll be wide open and can hit the shot.

“I really can’t wait (to play with Derrick Rose). It’s mind blowing to be playing with D. Rose, getting assists from him, hitting that wide open shot.”

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