Bulls’ Wendell Carter Jr. promises to prove doubters wrong next season

Wendell Carter Jr. shared some of his offseason plans, his thoughts on new Bull Coby White and more in this week’s Chat Room.

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Wendell Carter Jr. is determined to have a big sophomore season after sitting out the second half of last season with a thumb injury.

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Bulls forward Wendell Carter Jr. has some unfinished business to attend to from last season.

After suffering an injury that required surgery on his left thumb in January, Carter, whom the Bulls picked seventh overall in the 2018 draft, missed the second half of his rookie season.

“It was tough,” he told the Sun-Times at a Sky game earlier this week.

But Carter didn’t let that time go to waste.

Carter believes it was beneficial for him to watch from the sidelines because he learned a lot on both the offensive and defensive end. Whether that knowledge will translate to the court is yet to be determined.

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Wendell Carter Jr. took in a Sky game earlier this week.

John L Alexander/Chicago Sky

Carter knows he still has a lot to prove, and he’s taking his extended offseason to better himself.

In March, vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said he wanted Carter, who is 6-10 and weighs 255 pounds, to beef up this offseason. Carter, 20, said he’s been doing just that, spending the bulk of his free time this summer in the gym and weight room.

Carter expects he’ll surprise some people next season.

“Everybody who thought I wasn’t worth being a seventh pick, I’m going to be proving them wrong this year coming up,” said Carter, who averaged 10.3 points, seven rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots in 44 starts last season. “I promise I’m going to do that.”

Carter, who is expected to play a few games for the Bulls in Summer League next month, shared some of his offseason plans, his thoughts on new Bull Coby White and more in this week’s Chat Room.

What have you been up to this summer?

Wendell Carter Jr. :“Just kind of staying in the gym, working on my game and just enjoying the summer. We have such a rigorous season, so I just take this time to really enjoy my family and my friends and have a good time this summer.”

Have you done anything in the city this summer?

WC:“I haven’t, but I’m trying to do a lot more toward the end of this summer. I was really, really busy toward the beginning of the summer, but now I got some free time. I’m gonna try to get around and try to do some things around the city.”

What’s on your list?

WC:“All the touristy kind of stuff: boat rides, going out to Navy Pier, trying to do some charity events, couple little things like that.”

What brings you to the Sky game?

WC: “It was a Sunday. I wasn’t busy at all, and I found out they had a game at 5 p.m., so I decided just to come on up, show my support.”

What did you think of the Bulls taking Coby White with their seventh overall pick?

WC:“Excited. Just from what I’ve seen of him playing at UNC, I know he’s an incredible point guard who’s a willing passer, a really good scorer. So I feel like he can bring a lot to our team.”

Who has better hair: White or Robin Lopez?

WC:[Five-second pause to think] “I’m gonna say RoLo. I like his a lot. His is crazy — I like it though.”

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

WC:“To be invisible.”

Why?. . . So you can avoid interviews like this?

WC: “Not interviews. But so I can avoid a lot of other stuff — just stuff I want to avoid.”

Like what?

WC:“Umm. . . . Actually, I change it. I don’t want to be invisible but be able to change my appearance, so I look like a whole different person. So I can be a normal person and walk around and no one would think I’m in the league or anything.”

Are you a hunter or gatherer?

WC: “Hunter.”

Team plane full of traveling party. It goes down on a deserted island. You have no food: Who gets eaten first, and who is the last survivor? [Brief pause] If it helps you, Zach LaVine said Stacey King.

WC:[Laughs for six seconds] No comment. I can’t say nothing about that. . . . Like who’s gonna get eaten first? Like on my team and all that? Yeah, who gets eaten first? . . . Probably Stacey King. And then I feel like the last survivor, that would probably be Walter Lemon Jr. He’ll probably be the last survivor for sure.”

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