Gafford, the 38th overall pick out of Arkansas, began the season as the team’s third-string center behind starter Wendell Carter Jr. and free-agent signing Luke Kornet. But when the Bulls — and Kornet — struggled in the first 10 games, limping to a 3-7 record while getting outrebounded by 8.3 rebounds per game, many wondered why Gafford wasn’t inserted into the rotation. Anyone who watched his Summer League performances could see Gafford’s talents and how he could help with his raw energy, relentless hustle and, of course, his hair-raising athleticism. “He’s baby DeAndre Jordan, man,” Zach LaVine said. “That’s who he is. He’s freakishly athletic.”
“I really just find the play-option stuff so funny,” Dinwiddie said. “If we’re going to break it down by technicality, wouldn’t every player in a player-option year be incentivized to screw their team and shoot a million times and try to average 40 points and all that stuff, right? But I’m saying if we’re going to talk about gambling, then it’s gambling by nature. The same way a team option would incentivize a team to short the player, right? Like ‘Oh, if I don’t play him as many minutes, maybe I can sign him to a long-term deal, lock him up and then he can’t potentially make as much money.’ “If you want to play that card, then that’s on you guys, because you guys made the CBA the way you guys made it. I’m merely just saying since the CBA is the way it is, can I do this with my money? That’s literally all I said.”