clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Daniel Gafford to get crack in starting lineup Friday vs. Pacers [UPDATE]

The Bulls are without Wendell Carter Jr. for 4-6 weeks, and will give the rookie a shot as a starter over Thaddeus Young.

Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. during the first half at United Center. Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Jan. 10, 1:05 p.m. — Daniel Gafford will get a chance in the starting lineup Friday vs. the Indiana Pacers, coach Jim Boylen confirmed this afternoon.

The Bulls had started Thaddeus Young in the frontcourt on Wednesday vs. the Pelicans, but things didn’t work out so well. Gafford is more of a natural fit next to Lauri Markkanen in the frontcourt, so perhaps that will serve the Bulls better. But ultimately it’s not easy replacing a player like WCJ, who was the anchor on defense. Still, Gafford is an intriguing value at $5,100 on tonight’s DraftKings slate. His price is up but if he can get more minutes in the starting lineup, he could return some value.

UPDATE: Jan. 9, 10:19 p.m. — Wendell Carter Jr. is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a severe right ankle sprain.

UPDATE: Jan. 7, 8:54 p.m. — Wendell Carter Jr. is being listed as out for Wednesday’s game vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. Lauri Markkanen is probable.

UPDATE: Carter suffered a right ankle sprain and X-rays came back negative, but he won’t return to Monday’s game.

Chicago Bulls PF/C Wendell Carter Jr. had to be carried off the court and wheel chaired to the locker room during Monday’s game vs. the Dallas Mavericks.

Carter badly rolled his ankle on that play as you can see. He couldn’t put any weight on the injury, which is not a good sign for the Bulls. Carter had been in the midst of a breakout season for Chicago, averaging 11.9 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. He had six points and six rebounds prior to leaving the game.

With Carter out, the Bulls should use more Lauri Markkanen and Thaddeus Young frontcourts, with rookie Daniel Gafford also getting some additional minutes. If WCJ is going to miss any extended time, I’d say Young is a safe bet to get into the lineup, though the Bulls could opt to start Gafford given his athleticism and size.