New Orleans Pelicans' Jrue Holiday (11) drives to the basket as Chicago Bulls' Tomas Satoransky ... [+]


Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen finally announced his official starter at the point guard position, choosing newcomer Tomas Satoransky over former starter Kris Dunn:

The writing was on the wall for Dunn going back to when the Bulls brought Satoransky in on a three-year, $30 million sign-and-trade deal from the Washington Wizards. The front office had told Dunn they would be looking to upgrade the position, and they not only brought in Satoransky but drafted Coby White with the No. 7 overall pick.

Chicago reportedly looked to trade Dunn in the offseason, but no deal materialized. To his credit, Dunn apparently impressed in September workouts with the team. Boylen and the front office insisted there would be a battle in training camp, with Dunn even getting the start in the first preseason game before Satoransky got the call in the second contest.

The general consensus was that Satoransky would ultimately start, though, and preseason only affirmed this notion after he impressed as the starter in place of John Wall last season. The 27-year-old got off to a sluggish start with his new team, but he soon showed why he's a solid fit with a starting unit that will also feature Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., now that the young center is healthy.

Satoransky is averaging a solid 8.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 58.8% overall and 80.0% on 3-pointers (4-of-5). He has also recorded seven steals while committing just six turnovers.

Satoransky's catch-and-shoot prowess (40.0% 3-point shooter) will make him a threat playing off the ball when LaVine (or anybody else) is initiating offense, and his basketball IQ in general will make him an asset as the Bulls look to push pace and move the ball. He's not going to be a high-usage guy, which is totally fine with LaVine, Markkanen and Porter soaking up the majority of the shot attempts among the starters.

While Satoransky has impressed in preseason, it has been a constant struggle for Dunn on the offensive end, which is an issue that is carrying over from last season. Dunn is averaging 6.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the preseason, and he's shooting just 42.9% overall and 20.0% on 3-pointers. He also hasn't attempted a single free throw and has recorded more turnovers (16) than assists (14).

The good news is Dunn is still a defensive menace and will need to bring consistent effort in a contract season. The 25-year-old has racked up 11 steals in preseason along with a healthy amount of deflections, so he can be a valuable player on that end of the floor:

Dunn can form a nice 1-2 punch with White off the bench, with the fourth-year guard being the defensive pest and the rookie providing more of an aggressive spark offensively. Dunn has also had his moments offensively in the past, but he'll need to be less tentative and gain more confidence in this smaller role if he's going to make any kind of positive impact on that end of the floor. At worst, though, if Dunn can be a playmaker on defense while limiting his mistakes offensively, that's a win at this point.

It still feels like there's a good chance Dunn is traded midseason. The Bulls also have Ryan Arcidiacono at point guard and Shaquille Harrison in a deeper role off the bench. Chicago could really use another wing with Chandler Hutchison hurting and Denzel Valentine a question mark, and turning Dunn's roster spot into a bigger wing makes sense given the roster construction.

But for as long as Dunn is here, he can still play an important role, even though he's not the starter anymore. That job officially belongs to Satoransky, and it's hard to see the Czech guard losing it unless he gets injured or things go horribly wrong.


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